Signature Bank

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Signature Bank
Public company
Traded asNASDAQSBNY
S&P 400 Component
IndustryBanking, Financial Services
Founded2001; 18 years ago (2001)
Headquarters,
United States
Key people
  • Scott Shay (chairman)
  • Joseph J. DePaolo (president, CEO)
  • John Tamberlane (vice chairman and director)
Total assets$47.36 billion (Q4 2018)[1]
Total equity$4.41 billion (Q4 2018)[2]
SubsidiariesSignature Securities Group Corporation

Signature Financial LLC

Signature Public Funding Corp.
Websitesignatureny.com

Signature Bank is a New York-based full-service commercial bank with 30 private client offices located in New York and Connecticut, and one in California[3][4] Signature Bank's specialty finance subsidiary, Signature Financial LLC, provides equipment finance and leasing.[5] Signature Securities Group Corporation, a wholly owned Bank subsidiary, is a licensed broker-dealer and investment adviser offering investment, brokerage, asset management, and insurance products and services.[6]

Overview[edit]

Signature Bank offers business and personal banking products and services. Its specialty finance subsidiary, Signature Financial, provides equipment finance and leasing. Signature Securities Group Corporation, a wholly owned bank subsidiary, is a licensed broker-dealer, investment adviser and member of FINRA and SIPC, offering investment, brokerage, asset management and insurance products and services.[7] It has been dubbed "NY's most successful bank" by Crain's New York Business[8] and was ranked as The Best Business Bank, Best Private Bank and Best Attorney Escrow Services provider by the readers of The New York Law Journal in the publication's 2018 survey for the third consecutive year. In the survey, it was also awarded second place in The Best Private Bank category.[9]

In 2015, Forbes ranked the bank as No. 1 in its America's Best & Worst Banks evaluation.[10] Forbes' 2016 ranking of it as No. 6 marked the sixth consecutive year that the bank was among the Forbes top ten.[11] Additionally, Forbes has rated the bank as one of America's Fifty Most Trustworthy Financial Companies.[12]

As of December 31, 2018, the bank had total assets of $47.36 billion, deposits of $36.38 billion, and loans of $36.42 billion.[13]

History[edit]

Signature Bank was founded as an entrepreneurial start-up in 2001. Founders Joseph J. DePaolo, the bank's current president and chief executive officer, Scott A. Shay, chairman of the board, and John Tamberlane, vice chairman and director, conceptualized the idea of a commercial bank that would cater to clients through a distinctive single-point-of-contact approach. This client-centric model focuses on serving the needs of privately owned businesses, their owners, and senior managers, an underserved market overlooked by competitors. Upon inception, the bank began competing against some of the nation's largest too-big-to-fail megabanks by catering to this market niche. This has since become the hallmark of Signature Bank's model and growth as it continues to target and successfully address the needs of this market.[14] The Bank completed its Initial Public Offering in March 2004 and began trading on the NASDAQ under the symbol SBNY.[15] In 2018, the Bank expanded its footprint and commenced operations on the West Coast with the opening of its first private client banking office in San Francisco, California.[16]

Locations[edit]

There are 31 private client office locations of Signature Bank, all of which are in the United States.[17]

  • Manhattan (9)
  • Brooklyn (4)
  • Bronx (1)
  • Queens (4)
  • Staten Island (2)
  • Westchester County (2)
  • Nassau County (5)
  • Suffolk County (2)
  • San Francisco (1)
  • Greenwich, Connecticut (1)

Community Involvement[edit]

Signature Bank Building Improvement Initiative In 2018, Signature Bank awarded grants totaling $500,000 to community-based not-for-profits to provide the capital needed to improve housing conditions for those living in low-income housing apartments throughout New York. Each recipient received $100,000 to be used towards their respective buildings. The recipients were:

  • Banana Kelly Community Improvement Association
  • Fifth Avenue Committee
  • IMPACCT Brooklyn
  • Southside United HFDC/Los Sures
  • Clinton Housing Development Company[18]

Signature Scholars Program Sponsorship In 2018, Signature Bank, along with the Stamford Peace Youth Foundation, sponsored an event in which students that were part of the Signature Scholars Program got to hear from former NBA star Dick Barnett about the importance of pursuing higher-education.[19]

Relationship with Trump Family[edit]

On July 13, 2018, The New York Times featured a full-length article on Signature Bank being the "go-to bank" to Donald Trump and the Trump family. The bank helped finance Trump's Florida golf course.[20] President Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump served on Signature Bank's board of directors between 2011 and 2013, before stepping down on April 24, 2013.[21] Over the past decade, Signature Bank provided loans to the Trump Organization with checking accounts while Ivanka Trump sat on its board of directors.[22]

Controversies[edit]

Chinacast Education Corporation v. Signature Bank[edit]

Chinacast Education Corporation filed a $35,000,000 lawsuit against Signature for fraud, money laundering, and failing to stop transfers of money to a fictitious investment holding company in the British Virgin Islands with no legitimate business purpose.[23][24][25] Approximately 3 months after the case was opened, Chinacast Education Corporation dropped the case against the three banks named in the lawsuit – Signature Bank, Bank of China, and HSBC Bank. A voluntary dismissal was approved by Judge Swain and the cases against both Signature Bank and Bank of China were dismissed with prejudice.[26]

West End Financial Advisors LLC Ponzi Scheme[edit]

In early 2016, some investors filed suit against Signature after the company lost $66 million of investor cash in a Ponzi scheme run by William Landberg, a money manager who pleaded guilty to the crime.[27] Investors allege that Signature helped Landberg by ordering him to shift money around dozens of accounts to cover up long-term overdrafts. Landberg was sentenced to three and a half years in federal prison.[28]

Trump-related investigations[edit]

Property transactions totaling more than $150 million financed through Signature Bank to President Trump's son-in-law and political advisor Jared Kushner and lawyer Michael Cohen are under review by New York banking regulators. Signature Bank received requests in 2018 from the New York State Department of Financial Services for records of its interactions with Kushner.[29] Signature Bank is also under investigation for whether knowing that they planned to use improper tactics to push out low-rent tenants.[30]

Tenant Harassment[edit]

Signature Bank has been the center of numerous protests due to mistreatment of tenants by landlords the bank lends to [31]. Despite these accusations, the Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development has applauded the bank's commitment to responsible lending practices as it pertains to low and middle income tenants.[32]

Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act[edit]

Barney Frank, both a former U.S. congressman (1981–2013) and member of Signature Bank's board of directors (2015 – Present),[33] voted in favor of raising the Dodd/Frank threshold. He's also gone on record stating “My being on the board has not changed my position on this at all. These efforts began well before I began at Signature Bank.”[34]

Signature Bank has provided financial support for re-election races for a number of US Senators for their support of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act, according to Federal Election Commission data tallied by the Center for Responsive Politics. This bill exempted Signature Bank from post-crisis oversight rules. “We find it ridiculous and unacceptable that by virtue of … growing one day past $50bn, we will be burdened with rules intended for the mega 'too big to fail' banks,” Scott Shay, chairman of Signature, said.[35]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "INSURED U.S.-CHARTERED COMMERCIAL BANKS THAT HAVE CONSOLIDATED ASSETS of $300 MILLION or MORE, RANKED by CONSOLIDATED ASSETS". December 31, 2018.
  2. ^ "Signature Bank (FDIC # 57053)". March 5, 2019.
  3. ^ "Signature Bank Private Client Offices". signatureny.com. Retrieved November 13, 2018.
  4. ^ "New York bank poaches from First Republic to expand into Bay Area". The Business Journals. Retrieved November 13, 2018.
  5. ^ "Navigating The Future" (PDF).
  6. ^ Ensign, Rachel Louise. "The Only Bank This Hip-Hop Mogul Will Use". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved November 13, 2018.
  7. ^ "The Only Bank This Hip-Hop Mogul Will Use". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved May 11, 2016.
  8. ^ Elstein, Aaron (April 28, 2014). "New York's most successful bank". Crain Communications.
  9. ^ "The New York Law Journal – Best of 2018". Nylawyer.nylj.com. Retrieved December 18, 2016.
  10. ^ Badenhausen, Kurt (December 22, 2014). "America's Best And Worst Banks 2015". Forbes.
  11. ^ Badenhausen, Kurt (January 7, 2016). "America's Best Banks 2016". Forbes.
  12. ^ Dill, Kathryn (April 1, 2014). "America's 50 Most Trustworthy Financial Companies". Forbes.
  13. ^ "Signature Bank Reports 2018 Fourth Quarter and Year-End Results". Yahoo Finance. January 17, 2019. Retrieved March 5, 2019.
  14. ^ York, Banking New. "Signature Bank: Relationships Matter". www.bankingny.com. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  15. ^ Gelsi, Steve. "Signature Bank makes its mark". MarketWatch. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  16. ^ "Signature Bank Appoints Two Teams to Its New San Francisco Banking Office". Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  17. ^ "Signature Bank Private Client Offices". www.signatureny.com. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  18. ^ "Signature Bank provides building rehab grant to Banana Kelly". Bronx Times. Retrieved January 9, 2019.
  19. ^ Hall, Phil (April 13, 2018). "Basketball icon Dick Barnett preaches message of higher education to local youth". Westfair Communications. Retrieved January 9, 2019.
  20. ^ Flitter, Emily; Drucker, Jesse (July 23, 2018). "How a Small Bank Became a Go-To Lender to the Trump Family". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 17, 2018.
  21. ^ "Ivanka Trump Leaves Signature Bank's Board". American Banker. Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  22. ^ "8 banks entangled in Trump-related probes". American Banker. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
  23. ^ Zanki, Tom. "Signature Bank Wants Out Of Chinacast Suit Over $35M Theft – Law360". www.law360.com. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
  24. ^ "Chinacast Education Corporation v. Signature Bank et al". Justia Dockets & Filings. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
  25. ^ "Chinese company sues banks for negligence in former CEO's alleged..." Reuters. December 9, 2015. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
  26. ^ Zanki, Tom. "Chinacast Drops Litigation Against Banks Over $35M Theft – Law360". www.law360.com. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  27. ^ Vanderford, Richard (March 30, 2012). "SEC Wants Up To $13M In Fraud Case Against West End Exec". Law360.
  28. ^ Moyer, Liz (February 23, 2016). "Signature Bank Sued Over Connection to Ponzi Schem". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331.
  29. ^ "Cozy land deals meant big money for Trump family and friends". USA TODAY. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
  30. ^ "8 banks entangled in Trump-related probes". American Banker. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
  31. ^ "Local Tenants and Activists Demand Changes in Signature Bank's Lending Practices".
  32. ^ "ANHD Applauds Signature Bank's Newly Released Commitment to Best Practices for Multifamily Real Estate Lending". Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development. August 30, 2018. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
  33. ^ "Barney Frank | Directors". Signature Bank. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
  34. ^ "A lot of people heard what Barney Frank said about the new banking law. Few knew he works for a bank". Washington Post. Retrieved January 8, 2019.
  35. ^ "Subscribe to read". Financial Times. Retrieved January 10, 2019.

External links[edit]