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Banker News

Town Bank parent Wintrust positions for acquisitions
Business Journal of Milwaukee
Wintrust Corp., which owns Hartland-based Town Bank, is one of three bank-ownership consolidators positioning themselves to make acquisitions "should the right opportunity arise." Wintrust raised $127 million while South Carolina Bank and Trust, Columbia, S.C., and Iberiabank Corp., Lafayette, La., filed shelf registrations this month. Wintrust said in its regulatory filing that it intends to use the net proceeds for general corporate purposes, which may include "providing capital to support our growth, acquisitions or other business combinations, including FDIC-assisted acquisitions." The company said the proceeds also could be used to provide capital to support growth and to reduce or refinance debt. Business Journal of Milwaukee

House sends JOBS Act to President Obama
Business Journal of Milwaukee
Legislation that will make it easier for small companies to obtain capital from investors is headed to President Barack Obama for his signature. The legislation, which passed by a 380-41 margin, will enable small businesses to use the Internet to raise up to $1 million in small investments from lots of people, a technique known as crowdfunding. It also will encourage more companies to go public by exempting them from some SEC regulations in the first five years after an initial public offering. The Senate amended the bill to require companies that use crowdfunding to provide financial statements to investors, have independent accountants review statements for companies seeking $100,000 to $500,000 in capital, and require the websites that offer crowdfunding investment opportunities to the public to register with the SEC. The bill is a rare example of Congress passing bipartisan legislation. Business Journal of Milwaukee

Wells Fargo Must Face Class Action Over Securities Lending
Wells Fargo & Co. must face a group lawsuit by institutional investors that claim the bank marketed a risky securities-lending program as safe. U.S. District Judge Donovan W. Frank in St. Paul, Minnesota, certified the suit as a class action yesterday, finding that common issues predominated, including whether Wells Fargo "knew or should have known that the investments it selected did not comport with investment mandates." The lawsuit was filed in 2012 by the City of Farmington Hills Employees Retirement System, a Michigan pension fun. It claims breach of fiduciary duty and fraud, claiming that Wells Fargo concealed investment performance from class members to prevent them from exiting a risky securities-lending program. Bloomberg

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