DOB: Bulletin 2459 - April 8, 2011

The Department of Banking News Bulletin 

Bulletin # 2459
Week Ending April 8, 2011

This bulletin constitutes the only official notification you will receive from this office concerning any of the following applications. Any observations you may have are solicited. Any comments should be in writing to Howard F. Pitkin, Banking Commissioner, at the Connecticut Department of Banking, 260 Constitution Plaza, Hartford, CT 06103-1800 or via E-mail. Written comments will be considered only if they are received within ten days from the date of this bulletin.

Branch Activity
Section 36a-145 of the Connecticut General Statutes requires certain applications for a branch, or for a limited branch at which loans will be made, be accompanied by a plan detailing how adequate services to meet the banking needs of all community residents will be provided.  Plans are submitted when such applications are filed and are available for public inspection and comment at this Department for a period of 30 days.  Questions concerning branch activity should be directed to the Financial Institutions Division, (860) 240-8180.
Date Bank Location Activity
First Republic Bank
San Francisco, CA
FROM:  56 Mason Street
           Greenwich, CT 06830
TO:      93 Mason Street
           Greenwich, CT 06839
Acquisition and Merger
On April 6, 2011, pursuant to Section 36a-411 of the Connecticut General Statutes, the Commissioner approved the acquisition by First Niagara Financial Group, Inc., a bank holding company with its principal place of business in New York, for the acquisition of 100 percent of the issued and outstanding voting stock of NewAlliance Bancshares, Inc., a bank holding company, and indirectly of NewAlliance Bank, a Connecticut bank, and, pursuant to Section 36a-185 of the Connecticut General Statutes, issued a notice of intent not to disapprove such acquisition.  Also on April 6, 2011, the Commissioner, pursuant to Section 36a-412(a)(1) of the Connecticut General Statutes,  approved the merger of NewAlliance Bank with and into First Niagara Bank, N.A.
Consent Order
On April 6, 2011, the Banking Commissioner entered a Consent Order with respect to Merrill Lynch Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated, a Connecticut-registered broker-dealer having its principal office at One Bryant Park, New York, New York.  The Consent Order was an outgrowth of a multistate investigation into the firmís registration of its Client Associates and its related supervisory controls over those individuals.  The Consent Order found that, in permitting unregistered personnel to sell securities in Connecticut, the firm violated Section 36b-6(b) of the Connecticut Uniform Securities Act and Section 36b-31-6f(b) of the Regulations thereunder.   In furtherance of its desire to resolve the matter informally with the department, the firm represented that it would 1) maintain a trade monitoring system to prevent the entry of client orders originating from jurisdictions where the person accepting the order was not appropriately registered; and 2) file a report with the Commissioner describing the firmís improvements in its ability to monitor the identity and registration status of each person accepting a client order entered on the firmís trading system.
The Consent Order directed the firm to cease and desist from regulatory violations and to remit $359,100 to the department as a fine and reimbursement for past due agent registration fees.
       Dated:  Tuesday, April 12, 2011
       Howard F. Pitkin
       Banking Commissioner