California financial institution’s merger might power FDIC to rule on hazy cannabis banking


A small California financial institution’s merger software might power the FDIC to take a firmer stand on marijuana banking.

On June 14, Oakland, Calif.-based Summit Bancshares Inc. obtained phrase from the Federal Deposit Insurance coverage Corp.’s San Francisco Regional Workplace that the regulator would advocate denial of its software for merger with Faciam Holdings Inc., because of the financial institution’s marketing strategy to service marijuana-related companies, or MRBs, in accordance with a shareholder letter. Marijuana is authorized for each leisure and medicinal functions in California, however it’s nonetheless unlawful beneath federal legislation.

The financial institution plans to proceed with the merger anyway.

“The Board of Summit has determined to not withdraw the applying and to require the FDIC to go on file to disclaim the applying,” Board Chair Shirley Nelson wrote within the letter.

The financial institution’s board believes the matter is essential sufficient to be determined by FDIC management, stated Gary Findley, a lawyer with Gary Steven Findley & Associates and authorized counsel for the financial institution. “It’s a coverage choice,” he stated in an interview.

That is the primary time the FDIC has been requested to immediately grant or deny a financial institution entry to cannabis banking, in accordance with Findley.

Present steering from the Monetary Crimes Enforcement Community, or FinCEN, requires banks to file a suspicious exercise report at any time when an MRB opens an account and each 90 days thereafter, even when marijuana is authorized beneath state legislation.

Banks that present providers to MRBs might be prosecuted for money-laundering or drug trafficking beneath federal legal guidelines, in accordance with Morgan Fox, media relations director for the Nationwide Hashish Business Affiliation, a commerce group for marijuana companies.

In response to a quick printed by the Nationwide Affiliation of Federally-Insured Credit score Unions, FinCEN knowledge confirmed that 633 depository establishments offered banking providers to MRBs as of March 31. This is a rise of 147 depositories from FinCEN’s September 2018 knowledge.

To Learn The Relaxation Of This Article By Carolyn Duren on S&P World
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Printed: July 19, 2019

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