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

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

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

On Tuesday, MetaBank’s moms and dad business, Storm Lake, Iowa-based Meta Financial Group Inc., reported towards the 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 recommended us on Oct. 6 so it has determined that the lender involved in unfair or acts that are deceptive techniques in violation of the Federal Trade Commission Act and OTS marketing laws relating to the bank’s operation associated with the iAdvance system and needed the financial institution to discontinue all iAdvance line-of-credit origination task by Oct. 13, 2010,” Meta Financial’s filing claims.

The filing will not offer facts about just just what the OTS bought at fault with iAdvance, which can be a short-term loan item that MetaBank calls a “microloan” although some news reports call it a pay day loan. MetaBank supplies the solution to NetSpend as well as other consumers for who it issues cards that are prepaid. How many such loans and their total receivables were perhaps maybe not instantly available. Wednesday an OTS spokesperson refused to comment, and a Meta spokesperson referred a Digital Transactions News call to an https://guaranteedinstallmentloans.com/payday-loans-sd/ executive who did not respond by late.

The filing additionally states that due to Meta’s third-party relationship danger, other dangers, and its particular quick growth—growth the filing caused by the expansion to its Meta Payment Systems processing division—the OTS ended up being needing it to obtain approval from the local manager before it may participate in different company tasks. The organization requires an OTS fine before it could come right into brand brand brand new third-party relationships, originate brand new tax-refund loans, and even provide income-tax transfers throughout the 2011 income tax season.

The point is, Meta Financial stated the discontinuance of iAdvance plus 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 shares shut down 33percent on Wednesday.

The feasible issue for NetSpend is the fact that its so closely connected with MetaBank. NetSpend manages 2 million active prepaid cards, and MetaBank dilemmas 71% of these, according to a filing the business made towards the SEC the other day in advance associated with the IPO. NetSpend holds 4.9percent of Meta Financial’s equity, an action this program manager took “in purchase to help expand align our interests that are strategic MetaBank,” NetSpend’s filing claims.

Prepaid credit card researcher Tim Sloane of Mercator Advisory Group Inc. states he doubts iAdvance alone ended up being a product part of Meta’s company, but he notes that just Meta and also the OTS have actually the complete details. “It may be the OTS is wrestling with just how to handle prepaid in sponsoring banks, as well as in figuring that away, they’ve placed these restrictions set up,” he claims.

Investment bank Morgan Stanley issued a written report Wednesday saying Meta’s woes add up to an recommendation associated with strategy of NetSpend Green that is rival Dot, which will be within the processing of getting a bank. “Better to stay control of your very own destiny,” Morgan Stanley stated.