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Crackdown on Meta Bank Casts a Shadow on NetSpend’s IPO



Crackdown on Meta Bank Casts a Shadow on NetSpend’s IPO



Crackdown on Meta Bank Casts a Shadow on NetSpend’s IPO

Federal banking regulators this thirty days cracked straight straight straight down on MetaBank, an important card that is prepaid, an action that tossed into concern the pending initial general public offering of prepaid credit card system supervisor NetSpend Corp.

Austin, Texas-based NetSpend is planned to amount its long-planned IPO on Thursday, in accordance with reports in the monetary cables. But its ties that are close MetaBank caused rounds of conjecture about whether or not the IPO will in truth take place. A NetSpend representative states he can’t comment.

On Tuesday, MetaBank’s moms and dad business, Storm Lake, Iowa-based Meta Financial Group Inc., reported to your Securities and Exchange Commission that any office of Thrift Supervision had taken enforcement actions against MetaBank. The OTS banned MetaBank from issuing any brand brand new loans under its iAdvance item at the time of Wednesday, and in addition it put settings on its company of issuing loans prior to clients’ receipt of income tax refunds, alleged tax-refund expectation loans.

“The OTS suggested us on Oct. 6 so it has determined that the lender involved with unfair or misleading functions or practices in violation of the Federal Trade Commission Act and OTS marketing laws associated with the bank’s operation for the iAdvance system and needed the lender to discontinue all iAdvance line-of-credit origination task by Oct. 13, 2010,” Meta Financial’s filing states.

The filing will not provide facts about exactly exactly what the OTS bought at fault with iAdvance, that will be a short-term loan product which MetaBank calls a “microloan” while some news reports call it a pay day loan. MetaBank supplies the solution to NetSpend along with other customers for who it issues cards that are prepaid. The sheer number of such loans and their receivables that are total perhaps perhaps perhaps not instantly available. An OTS representative refused to comment, and a Meta representative referred a Digital Transactions Information call to an administrator whom would not react by belated Wednesday.

The filing additionally states that due to Meta’s third-party relationship danger, other dangers, as well as its fast growth—growth the filing related to the expansion to its Meta Payment Systems processing division—the OTS had been needing it to obtain approval from the local manager before it might take part in different company tasks. The business requires an OTS fine before it could come right into brand brand new third-party relationships, originate tax-refund that is new, and even provide income-tax transfers throughout the 2011 income tax period.

The point is, Meta Financial stated the discontinuance of iAdvance as well as the prospective discontinuance of tax-related programs now at the mercy of OTS approval would “eliminate a considerable portion” of Meta Payment Systems’ gross revenue. Meta’s stocks shut down 33percent on Wednesday.

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The problem that is possible NetSpend is the fact that it really is so closely connected with MetaBank. NetSpend manages 2 million active prepaid cards, and MetaBank dilemmas 71% of those, according to a filing the business made to your SEC week that is last advance associated with the IPO. NetSpend holds 4.9percent of Meta Financial’s equity, an action this system manager took “in purchase to help expand align our strategic passions with MetaBank,” NetSpend’s filing states.

Prepaid credit card researcher Tim Sloane of Mercator Advisory Group Inc. claims he doubts iAdvance alone had been a product section of Meta’s company, but he notes that just Meta while the OTS have actually the complete details. “It may be the OTS is wrestling with simple tips to handle prepaid in sponsoring banks, plus in figuring that away, they’ve placed these limitations set up,” he claims.

Investment bank Morgan Stanley issued a written report Wednesday saying Meta’s woes add up to an recommendation of this strategy of NetSpend Green that is rival Dot, that is within the processing of purchasing a bank. “Better to stay control over your destiny that is own, Morgan Stanley stated.