Legislative Proposals to Facilitate Capital Formation Advance

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In our October 2011 client alert, we discussed various bills that had been approved by the House Committee on Financial Services, Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government-Sponsored Enterprises (the “House Subcommittee”) focusing on capital formation. Several of these were recently approved by a vote of the full House of Representatives (the “House”).

Shareholder Threshold for Small Banks

On November 2, 2011, the House overwhelmingly approved H.R. 1965 without amendment by a vote of 420 to 2. The bill increases the shareholder threshold under Section 12(g) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”) from 500 to 2,000 for banks and bank holding companies and increases the threshold for total assets of an issuer required to register with the SEC from $1 million to $10 million. Representative Jim Himes (D-CT), who co-sponsored the bill with Representative Steve Womack (R-AR), remarked that “this bill helps banks help growing businesses access the capital they need to expand and create jobs while maintaining important protections for investors.” Representative Womack noted that “by raising the shareholder threshold from 500 to 2,000, banks will now be better positioned to increase small business lending which, in turn, will promote economic growth in communities across the country.”

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