Crackdown on MetaBank Casts a Shadow on NetSpend’s IPO

Crackdown on MetaBank Casts a Shadow on NetSpend’s IPO

Crackdown on MetaBank Casts a Shadow on NetSpend’s IPO

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

Austin, Texas-based NetSpend is planned to expense its long-planned IPO on Thursday, in accordance with reports in the economic 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 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 brand new loans under its iAdvance item at the time of Wednesday http://tennesseepaydayloans.net, and in addition it put settings on its company of issuing loans prior to clients’ receipt of income income tax refunds, alleged anticipation that is tax-refund.

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

The filing will not offer information about exactly exactly just what the OTS available at fault with iAdvance, that will be a short-term loan product that MetaBank calls a “microloan” although some news reports call it a loan that is payday. MetaBank provides 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 perhaps not instantly available. An OTS representative refused to comment, and a Meta representative referred a Digital Transactions Information call to an professional whom didn’t react by belated Wednesday.

The filing also 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 had been needing it to obtain approval from the local manager before it may participate in different company tasks. The business requires an OTS ok before it may get into brand new third-party relationships, originate brand new tax-refund loans, and sometimes even provide income-tax transfers throughout the 2011 income tax period.

The point is, Meta Financial stated the discontinuance of iAdvance and also the possible discontinuance of tax-related programs now at the mercy of OTS approval would “eliminate an amazing portion” of Meta Payment Systems’ gross revenue. Meta’s stocks shut down 33percent 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 those, according up to a filing the business made to your SEC the other day in advance for 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 claims.

Prepaid credit card researcher Tim Sloane of Mercator Advisory Group Inc. states he doubts iAdvance alone had been a product section of Meta’s company, but he notes that just Meta additionally 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 regarding the strategy of NetSpend competing Green Dot Corp., that is within the processing of shopping for a bank. “Better to stay control of your very own destiny,” Morgan Stanley stated.