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.
STATE BANK 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.
Evolve Bank & Trust
West Memphis, Arkansas
*30 Main Street, Suite 200
Danbury, CT 06810
747 Farmington Avenue
New Britain, CT 06053
Interstate De Novo Branch
On October 5, 2011, pursuant to Sections 36a-412(a)(2) and 36a-145(c)(1) of the Connecticut General Statutes, Evolve Bank & Trust, an Arkansas banking corporation with its main office in West Memphis, Arkansas, filed an application to establish a limited branch at 30 Main Street, Suite 200, Danbury, Connecticut to be operated as a loan production office. A community reinvestment plan filed in connection with the application is available for public inspection and comment at the Department of Banking for a period of thirty days.
CONSUMER CREDIT DIVISION ACTIVITY
Notice of Automatic Suspension, Temporary Order to Cease and Desist,
Notice of Intent to Revoke and Refuse to Renew Mortgage Correspondent Lender License
Notice of Intent to Issue Order to Cease and Desist
On September 30, 2011, the Commissioner issued a Notice of Automatic Suspension, Temporary Order to Cease and Desist, Notice of Intent to Revoke and Refuse to Renew Mortgage Correspondent Lender License, Notice of Intent to Issue Order to Cease and Desist and Notice of Right to Hearing (“Notice”) in the Matter of: All American Home Mortgage Corp. d/b/a All American Mortgage Bankers Corp. (“Respondent”), Brooklyn, New York. The Notice alleges that Respondent failed to maintain a surety bond that ran concurrent with its license for 1001 60th Street, Brooklyn, New York, in violation of Section 36a 492 of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended by Public Act 11-216. The Commissioner also found that public welfare required the issuance of Temporary Order to Cease and Desist. Respondent was afforded an opportunity to request a hearing with regard to the allegation set forth in the Notice.
SECURITIES AND BUSINESS INVESTMENTS DIVISION ACTIVITY
On October 14, 2011, the Banking Commissioner entered a Consent Order with respect to EKN Financial Services, Inc., a registered broker-dealer having its principal office in Melville, New York. The Consent Order alleged that from at least April 1, 2010 through December 30, 2010, the firm charged its Connecticut customers a per transaction fee in addition to a commission and/or markup or markdown; that the fee was categorized as a “Handling Fee” on customer trade confirmations sent from the firm’s clearing broker; and that the fee was the same for each customer, regardless of trading activity. The Consent Order also alleged that, although the “Handling Fee” included the ticket charge assessed by the clearing firm for trade execution and postage expense, EKN Financial Services, Inc. failed to clearly disclose that the remainder of the fee would be credited as revenue to the firm and used to pay other expenses not specifically identified on either the pre-confirmation or the clearing firm confirmation.
The Consent Order fined EKN Financial Services, Inc. $3,000; directed it to cease and desist from regulatory violations; and required that it provide additional fee disclosures to customers. The Consent Order also required that the firm reimburse affected Connecticut customers the difference between the amount of the per transaction “Handling Fee” paid by each customer and the actual amount of the firm’s ticket and clearing charge and the postage fee assessed by the clearing firm.
On October 14, 2011, the Banking Commissioner entered a Consent Order with respect to Alexander Hamilton Britnell. The Consent Order alleged that, in steering prospective investors to Michael S. Goldberg, LLC d/b/a Acquisitions Unlimited Group, Alexander Britnell transacted business as an unregistered agent and offered and sold unregistered securities in violation of Sections 36b-6(a) and 36b-16 of the Connecticut Uniform Securities Act. The Consent Order acknowledged that Alexander Britnell had also invested his own funds in the venture. Acquisitions Unlimited Group purportedly liquidated distressed assets obtained from JP Morgan Chase Bank and promised investors a 20% return on capital. Michael S. Goldberg ultimately pleaded guilty to wire fraud and was sentenced to a ten year prison sentence on May 16, 2011 (United States v. Michael S. Goldberg, D. Conn., Criminal No. 3:10 CR192 (JCH)).
The Consent Order directed Alexander Britnell to cease and desist from regulatory violations, and barred him for seven years from transacting business in Connecticut as a broker-dealer, agent, investment adviser, investment adviser agent or compensated finder. The Consent Order also required that Alexander Britnell consult with experienced securities legal counsel regarding any future securities-related activities in which he might engage.
Dated: Wednesday, October 18, 2011