The Mississippi company is hopeful examiners will recognize progress made on Bank Secrecy Act compliance, including a much bigger staff and enhanced systems. If all goes well, BancorpSouth could have a consent order lifted, paving the way for it to refile applications for two acquisitions it hopes to complete next year.

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Deals and departures were common trends among bankers we highlighted as worth watching in 2014. In fact, only a few bankers managed to avoid major headlines in the past year.

First Guaranty Bancshares had hoped to raise more than $60 million but a dip in oil prices spooked potential investors even though just 3% of the bank's loans involve energy companies.

The former Astoria chief, who died Sunday, took Astoria from a sleepy mutual to the fifth-biggest publicly traded thrift in New York. Engelke was also know for freely speaking his mind while maintaining strong relationships with fellow bankers.

BBVA's purchase this week of Madiva Soluciones will help it solve customer analytics problems. But more importantly, it brings the bank a stable of experienced data scientists.

Georgia once was known as the state hit with the most bank failures. Renasant's agreement to buy Heritage Financial in Albany, Ga., is the latest of several deals where buyers have paid strong premiums to enter or expand in the state.

The end of the year is a busy time for closing bank acquisitions — at least buyers are hoping that is the case. With the average deal taking about 120 days to complete, there are plenty of banks anxiously awaiting a call from regulators.

Deborah Wright, who is set to retire as Carver's CEO at year-end, says the New York bank is preparing new products to reach underserved parts of the city. While she says community development banks should merge, Carver has no immediately plans to roll them up.

A recent report from Sterne Agee included a list of banks with similar traits to sellers in pending deals. Such traits, including aging CEOs and substandard returns, could portend future sellers.
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In at least three recent instances, trust-preferred investors have filed lawsuits against lenders who either bought or sold banks in transactions designed to bypass such debtholders.

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