Friday, February 22, 2013

House Legislation Would Raise SEC Reporting Threshold from 500 to 2000 Shareholders for Savings and Loan Holding Companies

Bi-partisan House legislation has been introduced to raise the SEC reporting threshold for savings and loan holding companies from 500 to 2,000 shareholders and increase the deregistration threshold from 300 to 1,200. The Holding Company Registration Threshold Equalization Act, H.R. 801, is co-sponsored by Rep. Steve Womack (R-AR) and Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT).

Enacted on April 5, 2012, the JOBS raised the shareholder registration threshold from 500 to 2000 and increased the deregistration threshold from 300 to 1,200 for for banks and bank holding companies. Unfortunately, the JOBS Act did not explicitly extend the thresholds to savings and loan holding companies (SLHCs). However, the co-sponsors of H.R. 801 maintain that it was not the intention of Congress to treat SLHCs differently from bank and bank holding companies.

According to Rep. Womack, H.R. 801 extends the same flexibility to savings and loan holding companies ensuring that they, along with community banks across the country, can deploy capital throughout the communities they serve.”

The legislation will ensure that savings and loan institutions operate under the same rules as local banks,” said Rep. Himes. This will help S&Ls raise capital so they have the resources to make the loans consumers need to purchase homes, cars, and other large items they are more likely to finance than buy outright

The provision raising the thresholds for banks and bank holding companies was included in the Title VI. In 2012, the House Appropriations Committee included language in its report accompanying the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill that clearly evidences the intent of Congress to apply Title VI of the JOBS Act to S&L Holding Companies. That language says that “Congress intends for Title VI of the JOBS Act to apply to the S&L Holding Companies defined by the Home Owners Loan Act.