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The recently rebranded California International Bank has stiffed the government on 30 dividend payments and has spurned a request to let Treasury officials observe its board meetings. There is some optimism; a Vietnamese businessman was approved to take over control after injecting $4.5 million in capital into the bank.

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First Mid-Illinois signed a confidentiality agreement last fall to pursue a mystery bank in Illinois. It soon discovered that the bank — First Clover Leaf — was an institution it had heavily courted three years earlier.

Ten banks have invested a total of $25 million in the fund, which buys up mortgage-backed securities tied to loans made for the development or rehabilitation of affordable single- and multi-family homes.

Community bankers are trying to determine how they can offer affordable small-dollar loans that fit within the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's complex 1,341-page payday lending plan.

More institutions are willing to pursue small acquisitions, or rely on organic growth, to cross over a regulatory threshold that includes interchange fee caps and stress testing. A big reason is that bankers are becoming more comfortable with the financial toll of such regulation.

First Bancorp in Southern Pines, N.C., has agreed to buy Carolina Bank Holdings for $97.3 million, or $19.26, in cash and stock.

With the 7(a) program headed for another record year, small banks around the country, including Access National in Reston, Va., are scrambling to add capacity.

By teaming up, community banks are hoping they'll be able to get some leverage in hammering out tech agreements with megavendors such as FIS, Fiserv and Jack Henry.
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Union Bankshares in Virginia is among the ranks of banks nearing $10 billion in assets. Unlike many banks of its size, Union feels no pressure to pursue a transformational deal to offset increased regulatory costs.

The rise in oil prices in recent months is welcome news for the energy sector, but it doesn't mean that oil and gas firms — and the banks that lend to them — are out of the woods just yet.

Lenders grudgingly embraced some changes in FASB's new loan-loss accounting requirements, and they get more than three years to comply, but a number of implementation pitfalls still lie ahead.
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