As consolidation heats up, bankers are pushing back against lawsuits challenging a deal's merits. Experts say the law firms pursuing litigation are motivated by fees and often withdraw when bank lawyers use legal maneuvers to lengthen the process.
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A judge had ordered Joseph Stilwell to appear in court and respond to a subpoena from the Securities and Exchange Commission tied to a securities fraud investigation.

Many banks are aggressively closing branches to cut costs. Those banks must be mindful about branches in moderate- and low-income neighborhoods or risk downgrades after their next Community Reinvestment Act examination.

BBVA Compass will likely face restrictions on M&A and branching after issues turned up in its recent CRA exam. Though a CRA rating downgrade is bad, some believe the foreign-owned bank is better off than banks that have had compliance issues arise after submitting a merger application.

Eagle Bancorp CEO Ron Paul
Who says you can't have it all? Banks like Eagle Bancorp and Puget Sound Bank are adding loans at a fast clip, but that hasn't stopped them from looking for deals. Still, such banks must make sure their deals do not wreck the growth engine they already have.

HomeTrust Bank faced a legal challenge from HomeTown Bank after it entered southwestern Virginia. The now-resolved dispute serves as a reminder that banks must be aware of branding challenges when they enter new markets.

Frank Holding Jr., chairman and chief executive of First Citizens BancShares
An investor has filed a lawsuit to block the merger deal between the two First Citizens banks in the Carolinas, which are controlled by the Holding family. The case could turn on whether the directors on the special committees that reviewed the deal were truly independent of the Holdings.

Boston Private CEO Clayton Deutsch
Clayton Deutsch has spent the last several years streamlining Boston Private's past acquisitions in an effort to improve the company's profitability. With most of the cuts in place, the company is now eyeing acquisitions like the one it announced last month for Banyan Partners, a Florida investment adviser.

Paula Johannsen was the most-active financial adviser at midyear with six mergers under her belt. In a wide-ranging interview, she discusses Florida M&A, compliance delays and the reasoning behind mergers of equals.

The bank M&A world can be challenging for private-equity vehicles because they trade lower than some of the more aggressive traditional buyers. Talmer Bancorp in Troy, Mich., announced a cash deal last week that pushed its stock up more than 5%, perhaps helping its hand in future stock deals.

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