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Huntington and TCF complete merger, ink $12.5M deal for Torgow
Huntington and TCF banks announced Wednesday that they have officially closed their merger, setting in motion the planned rebranding of TCF as Huntington Bancshares and the anticipated renaming of TCF Center in downtown Detroit.
The closure of the all-stock deal also includes a three-year, $12.5 million new tcf bank login deal for Gary Torgow, the previous executive chairman of Detroit-based TCF Bank who now joins Huntington's newly enlarged board of directors, and whose five adult children will be landlords of the bank's new commercial banking headquarters in Detroit that is under construction, according to Securities and Exchange Commission documents.
TCF's merger into Huntington was first announced in December and received final approvals late last month from federal regulators, on the condition it sell 14 TCF branches in Michigan to a different bank for antitrust reasons. Horizon Bank has a tentative deal to buy all of those branches.
In total, the post-merger Huntington bank will be a top 25 U.S. bank holding company with $142 billion in deposits, $116 billion in loans and more than 1,100 branches in multiple states. As part of the merger, 189 branches in Michigan and Ohio are closing, including all of Huntington's in-store Meijer bank locations in Michigan.
TCF customer accounts will be converted to Huntington's systems in the fourth quarter and Huntington customers will not be impacted by the conversion.
The TCF Center in downtown Detroit, formerly known as Cobo Hall, will be renamed sometime this summer or fall, according to statements by Stephen Steinour, chairman and CEO of Huntington, in an interview with Crain's Detroit.
The new Huntington is to have dual headquarters: its main headquarters in Columbus, Ohio, and a commercial banking headquarters in Detroit, inside the new 20-story downtown tower that is under construction.
"We are pleased to announce the completion of this combination with TCF and look forward to welcoming our new colleagues and customers to Huntington," Steinour said in a news release. "We also look forward to strengthening our community impact through the combined bank."
Torgow, once a high-profile Detroit real estate executive, was a founder and chairman of the old Talmer Bank that absorbed numerous other banks, including former Midland-based Chemical Bank, and ultimately grew to become TCF Bank.
Torgow lionbank com now an adviser to Huntington until new tcf bank login third anniversary of the merger's consummation in 2024. He is to get a total $12.5 million for this role, including a $3.5 million lump sum in cash, $3.5 million on the first and second anniversaries bank of america money network login the merger's effective date and $2.75 million on the third anniversary. Those are the only payments Torgow is to receive for his service.
The SEC filings also give updated terms of Torgow's children's development and landlord deal for the new 20-story downtown Detroit building, 2047 Woodward Ave. near Comerica Park, that is expected to open next year.
More: Justice Department forces Huntington, TCF new tcf bank login sell 13 bank branches for merger
More: Chemical Bank chairman's grown kids get development, landlord deal
This family connection was previously disclosed, and corporate governance experts haven't voiced any concerns about it.
The five adult Torgow children own 50% of the corporate entity that is the building's developer, general contractor and future landlord for Huntington. That entity, called GPC Adams, is an affiliate of the Detroit-based real estate firm Sterling Group that Gary Torgow co-founded in the late 1980s and severed personal and financial ties with in 2009.
Bank officials either didn't respond or answer past Free Press inquiries about who owns the other 50%, although they told Crain's Detroit that the owner is New York businessman Sol Werdiger, a friend of Gary Torgow's. A message left Wednesday for Werdiger wasn't immediately returned.
Once the new building is done, GPC Adams is to charge what are currently top-of-the-market rents to Huntington of $35 per square foot for office space, or $6.9 million annually, and $50 per square foot for retail space. The triple net lease begins January 2022 and rent rates are to increase 2% annually during the 22½-year term, which can be renewed.
The lease includes 311 parking spaces in the new building at an estimated monthly cost of $300 per spot, or $1.1 million annually.
A Huntington representative declined comment Wednesday.
Contact JC Reindlat 313-222-6631 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter@jcreindl. Read more on business and sign up for our business newsletter.
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CFPB Research Shows Banks’ Deep Dependence on Overdraft Fees
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Banks continue to rely heavily on overdraft and non-sufficient funds (NSF) revenue, which reached an estimated $15.47 billion in 2019, according to research released today by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Three banks—JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America—brought in 44% of the total reported that year by banks with assets over $1 billion. The CFPB also found that while small institutions with overdraft programs charged lower fees on average, consumer outcomes were similar to those found at larger banks. The research also notes that, despite a drop in fees collected, many of the fee harvesting practices persisted during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Rather than competing on quality service and attractive interest rates, many banks have become hooked on overdraft fees to feed their profit model,” said CFPB Director Rohit Chopra. “We will be taking action to restore meaningful competition to this market.”
Previous CFPB research has shown that overdraft presents serious risks to consumers, with under 9% of consumer accounts paying 10 or more overdrafts per year, accounting for close to 80% of all overdraft revenue. Yesterday, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation released data revealing that insured banks earned $69.5 billion in the third quarter of 2021, up 36% from the prior year. Banks are on pace to surpass their pre-pandemic profitability.
The first data point, Overdraft/NSF Fee Reliance Since 2015 – Evidence from Bank Call Reports, shows that banks’ revenues from overdraft and NSF fees have been stable, especially before the COVID-19 pandemic. From the beginning of reporting in 2015, aggregate overdraft and NSF fee revenues reported in Call Reports for banks with assets over $1 billion saw a small but steady annual increase of around 1.7% per year to $11.97 billion in 2019. Complementing the Call Report data with data on small institutions, CFPB researchers estimate that the overall market revenue from overdraft and NSF fees was $15.47 billion in 2019. These overdraft and NSF fees made up close to two-thirds of reported fee revenue, emphasizing banks’ heavy reliance on such fees. Reliance on such fees varied considerably among institutions in the Call Reports, but was generally stable over time for any given institution. While aggregate overdraft and NSF fee revenues declined by 26.2% in 2020, increased checking account balances resulting from federal stimulus payments likely contributed to this decline.
The second data point, Checking Account Overdraft at Financial Institutions Served by Core Processors, provides the most detailed and wide-ranging quantitative data the Bureau or others have collected on overdraft policies, practices, and outcomes at small financial institutions. The data point looks at institution-level data from several core processors on the way credit unions and smaller banks set up their overdraft programs, and reviews data on consumer overdraft use and fee revenue for a 12-month time period predominantly covering 2014. CFPB researchers report that 92.9% of smaller banks and 60.9% of credit unions had an overdraft program, making such programs less common at these institutions than among large banks. The smaller institutions were also less likely to offer the option to opt in to debit card overdraft, with two thirds of institutions with overdraft offering this option. And, while overdraft and NSF fees were 13 to 19% lower at small banks and credit unions than at large banks, credit unions and small banks with an overdraft program earned $42.33 and $40.37 in annual overdraft revenue per account, respectively, which was new tcf bank login 6% and 11% less than large banks, respectively.
The CFPB will be enhancing its supervisory and enforcement scrutiny of banks that are heavily dependent on overdraft fees. In recent years, the CFPB ordered TD Bank to pay $122 million in penalties and customer restitution, and ordered TCF Bank to pay $30 million in penalties and restitution.
Consumers seeking help dealing with overdraft and NSF fees can submit a complaint to the CFPB. Advice on managing bank accounts and avoiding fees is available on the CFPB’s website.
Read the CFPB data point, Overdraft/NSF Fee Reliance Since 2015 – Evidence from Bank Call Reports.
Read the CFPB data point, Checking Account Overdraft at Financial Institutions Served by Core Processors.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a 21st century agency that implements and enforces Federal consumer financial law and ensures that markets for consumer financial products are fair, transparent, and competitive. For more information, visitconsumerfinance.gov.
Prepared Remarks of CFPB Director Richard Cordray on the TCF Bank Enforcement Action Press Call
Thank you for joining the call. Today, we are suing TCF National Bank for tricking consumers to opt in for costly overdraft services. We believe TCF trained its employees to use unlawful tactics in their marketing to consumers. They made overdraft seem mandatory when it was not. They obscured information about fees when opening accounts for new customers. They adopted a loose definition of “consent” to opt in existing customers, and they pushed back aggressively against any customer who questioned the process. In the end, many of their customers had no idea they had opted in for expensive services that exposed them to high fees.
For as long as we have had banks, consumers have occasionally run into trouble by spending more money than they have in their accounts. For many years, banks and credit unions either covered the difference temporarily as a courtesy, in return for payment of an overdraft fee, or they would refuse the transaction and generally charge a returned check fee for doing so. With the advent of debit cards, consumers began to use the cards more often for small purchases instead of using cash. As banks new tcf bank login credit unions found themselves processing more and more of these transactions, they developed automated overdraft programs which routinely authorized overdraft transactions and assessed an overdraft fee. Over time, these institutions began to assess higher fees for covering any overages. Accordingly, overdraft became a significant source of revenue from checking accounts.
In 2010, a Federal Reserve Board rule took effect that said banks cannot charge an overdraft fee for ATM withdrawals or most debit card transactions unless the consumer has affirmatively “opted in” to use these services. If the consumer does not opt in, banks may either allow or decline the transaction, but cannot charge a fee if they decide to cover any overage. An opt-in requires affirmative consent from the consumer on each new account. In addition, when the rule took effect it covered existing accounts, so an affirmative opt-in was required for those accounts too.
Minnesota-based TCF Bank relied on overdraft fees more than many other banks, in part because it does not offer as many banking products. Unlike many other banks, TCF does not generate substantial revenue from credit cards and home mortgage loans. Instead it relies more heavily on revenue from its deposit accounts, and a substantial part of that revenue comes from fees. In 2009, TCF estimated that $182 million in annual revenues was at risk because of the new opt-in rule. A substantial portion of this money could have been lost to the bank if consumers had to affirmatively opt in for overdraft – and that obviously raised concerns.
In an effort to preserve its revenue, TCF began consumer testing on how to get consumers to sign up for overdraft services at $35 per transaction. The bank found that the less information it gave consumers about opting in, the easier it was to get their consent. And it found that if consumers were asked to opt in at the same time they were being asked to agree to other mandatory terms and conditions of a new account, the opt-in rate more than doubled.
So for new customers, as described in the lawsuit filed today, the bank placed the opt-in decision immediately after a series of mandatory items that required the consumer’s agreement in order to open the account. The bank then provided branch employees with scripts that failed to explain that opting in was optional or that it amounted to giving the bank permission to charge fees. Most consumers fell into the rhythm of initialing all the various terms of their new account and simply signed on.
For existing customers, the Bureau alleges that TCF directed its employees to use deceitful language to secure opt-ins. Instead of asking consumers whether they wanted to have each of their overdrafts covered for a $35 charge, the bank instructed its staff to ask customers whether they wanted their “TCF Check Card to continue to work as it does today?” Many consumers did not understand that by choosing to have their debit card “continue to work as it does today,” they were granting the bank permission to charge them overdraft fees that they would not otherwise have to pay.
If either new or existing consumers challenged or questioned any of this, the bank instructed its staff to suggest a hypothetical situation in order to sell the product. One scenario, for example, would be a high-stakes emergency where people would desperately need access to money, like a broken-down car on the side of the road in a Minnesota winter. And, as alleged in the complaint, the bank discouraged employees from using hypotheticals that highlighted the risks of opting in, which gave consumers a distorted sense of the value of opting in.
TCF employees had a sizeable stake in extracting such “consent.” When the new federal rule first took effect, the bank offered bonuses to branch staff that secured consumer opt-ins. For example, managers at the larger branches could earn up to $7,000 in bonuses for getting more consumers to sign on. We believe, however, that even after these bonuses were phased out, certain regional managers instituted new tcf bank login own opt-in goals for branch employees. While the bank’s official policy was that an employee could not be terminated for low opt-in rates, many employees still believed they could lose their job if they did not meet their sales goals. By linking opt-in rates with an employee’s performance goals instead of consumer preference, the bank instituted a culture of pushing consumers into overdraft services.
The upshot was that by mid-2014, about 66 percent of TCF’s customers had opted in, a rate that was more than triple the average opt-in rate at other banks. Among the telling details alleged in the Bureau’s complaint is the fact that the bank’s CEO even named his own pleasure boat the “Overdraft.” TCF’s senior executives were so enthusiastic about their unusually high numbers that they threw parties to celebrate when they reached various milestones.
In its complaint, the Consumer Bureau alleges that TCF’s practices have violated the Electronic New tcf bank login Transfer Act and the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010. The lawsuit filed today seeks redress to make consumers whole, injunctive relief to stop these unlawful practices, and civil money penalties as deemed appropriate.
Opting in for overdraft coverage is an expensive way to manage a checking account. It is therefore important for consumers to understand they have a choice and make an affirmative decision to be charged these overdraft fees. The right way to get agreement from consumers is by describing the service fully and accurately and affording consumers a reasonable opportunity to give their affirmative consent. If this is truly a service that consumers want and value, then they will act accordingly.
But when banks deliberately design ways to pull the wool over the eyes of their customers, the Consumer Bureau is watching carefully. We will not hesitate to take action against any entity that we find to be deceiving or abusing consumers. Consumers deserve better.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is a 21st century agency that helps consumer finance markets work by making rules more effective, by consistently and fairly enforcing those rules, and by empowering consumers to take more control over their economic lives. For more information, visitwww.consumerfinance.gov.
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