Crackdown on MetaBank Casts a Shadow on NetSpend’s IPO

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Crackdown on MetaBank Casts a Shadow on NetSpend’s IPO

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

Austin, Texas-based NetSpend is planned to cost its long-planned IPO on Thursday, relating to reports regarding the monetary cables. But its close ties to MetaBank caused rounds of conjecture about perhaps 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 into the Securities and Exchange Commission that work 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, plus it put settings on its company of issuing loans prior to clients’ receipt of tax refunds, alleged anticipation that is tax-refund.

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The OTS recommended us on Oct. 6 that 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 advertising laws regarding the the bank’s operation associated with the iAdvance system and required the financial institution to discontinue all iAdvance line-of-credit origination task .

The filing will not offer factual statements about exactly exactly exactly what the OTS available at fault with iAdvance, that will be a short-term loan item that MetaBank calls a “microloan” while some news reports call it a loan that is payday. MetaBank provides the service to NetSpend as well as other customers for who it issues prepaid cards. The amount of such loans and their total receivables were maybe not straight away available. Wednesday an OTS spokesperson refused to comment, and a Meta spokesperson referred a Digital Transactions News call to an executive who did not respond by late.

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The filing additionally claims that due to Meta’s third-party relationship danger, other dangers, and its particular fast growth—growth the filing related to 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 may get into new third-party relationships, originate tax-refund that is new, and on occasion even provide income-tax transfers through the 2011 income tax period.

The point is, Meta Financial stated the discontinuance of iAdvance additionally the prospective discontinuance of tax-related programs now susceptible to OTS approval would “eliminate an amazing portion” of Meta Payment Systems’ gross revenue. Meta’s stocks shut down 33% on Wednesday.

The feasible issue for NetSpend is the fact that it really is so closely connected with MetaBank. NetSpend manages 2 million active prepaid cards, and MetaBank problems 71% of these, relating up to a filing the business made towards the SEC week that is last advance regarding the IPO. NetSpend holds 4.9% of Meta Financial’s equity, an action this program manager took “in purchase to help expand align our strategic passions with MetaBank,” NetSpend’s filing says.

Prepaid credit card researcher Tim Sloane of Mercator Advisory Group Inc. claims he doubts iAdvance alone ended up being a product section of Meta’s company, but he notes that just Meta additionally the OTS have the details that are full. “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 competing Green Dot Corp., that is within the processing of getting a bank. “Better to stay in control of your very own destiny,” Morgan Stanley stated.

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NetSpend intends to offer 2.27 million stocks at ten dollars to $12 apiece, which may create $22.7 million to $27.2 million before underwriting costs. NetSpend’s present owners prepare to offer 16.3 million stocks.

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