Monster Beats Kopfhorerde Wed, 18 May 2022 01:55:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Monster Beats Kopfhorerde 32 32 Remote start? Keep these labor laws and tax guidelines in mind – TechCrunch Wed, 18 May 2022 01:55:22 +0000

when it comes In remote employment, employees and employers both face a plethora of benefits and pitfalls. Although the cultural advantages and disadvantages have been covered, the considerations from a configuration and maintenance perspective have largely not been addressed. There are important legal and tax implications to keep in mind when dealing with a remote workforce.

Virtual teams existed long before COVID-19, but over the past two years, employees have turned not being able to go to an office into an advantage when leaving their employer’s state. For startups, hiring out-of-state employees became common as remote businesses were built from scratch and talent was far more critical than location.

If your startup starts or goes remote, keep the following in mind.

Tax implications

Remote workers have tax implications for their businesses. Specifically, there is a withholding tax on state salaries. This is generally required for the state where an employee works or provides services, regardless of the location of the employer. This means that your startup may need to register and withhold income taxes in multiple states.

These are complicated problems, and often the best approach is to hire an expert early.

Here are the questions we ask customers:

  1. What are your sales and revenue by state?
  2. Where are your employees?
  3. Where is your office and any other property located?

Dollar amounts and property locations are important because each state has a different threshold when it comes to defining whether or not a bond (more on that in a moment) has been established.

It’s not something you can ignore. States pay attention. When you register with a government agency, the state receives your tax ID and other identifying information. This means that you are present in that state and your business will be monitored and prosecuted for any resulting tax liabilities.

For example, one of our clients was blocked during an acquisition last year because it was discovered that it was not respecting its remote workforce. It is therefore essential to register in each state where you have employees.

Considering the “link”

NEW PEOPLES BANKSHARES INC Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations (Form 10-Q) Mon, 16 May 2022 22:09:25 +0000

Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

We make forward looking statements in this quarterly report on Form 10-Q that
are subject to risks and uncertainties. These forward looking statements include
statements regarding expectations, intentions, projections and beliefs
concerning our profitability, liquidity, and allowance for loan losses, interest
rate sensitivity, market risk, growth strategy, and financial and other goals.
The words "believes," "expects," "may," "will," "should," "projects,"
"contemplates," "anticipates," "forecasts," "intends," or other similar words or
terms are intended to identify forward looking statements. The forward-looking
information is based on various factors and was derived using numerous
assumptions. Important factors that may cause actual results to differ from
projections include:

º the success or failure of our efforts to implement our business plan;

º any required increase in our regulatory capital ratios;

º meet other regulatory requirements that may arise from the examinations,

     changes in the law and other similar factors;
   º deterioration of asset quality;
   º changes in the level of our nonperforming assets and charge-offs;
   º fluctuations of real estate values in our markets;
   º our ability to attract and retain talent;

º demographic changes in our markets which have a negative impact


º the uncertain outcome of current or future legislation or regulation or

the policies of state and federal regulators;

º good management of interest rate risk;

º good liquidity management;

º changes in general economic and business conditions in our market area and

United States in general;

º the credit risks inherent in granting loans such as changes in

ability to repay and our management of those risks;

º competition with other banks and financial institutions, and companies

outside the banking sector, including online lenders and those

businesses that have significantly greater access to capital and other


º demand, development and acceptance of new products and services we have

offered or may offer;

º the effects of and changes in trade, monetary and fiscal policies and

laws, including interest rate policies Federal Reserveinflation,

interest rate, market and currency fluctuations;

º the occurrence of major natural disasters, including severe weather events

conditions, floods, health issues (including ongoing novel

coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and associated efforts to limit

     spread of the disease), and other catastrophic events;
   º technology utilized by us;
   º our ability to successfully manage cyber security;
   º our reliance on third-party vendors and correspondent banks;
   º changes in generally accepted accounting principles;

º changes in government regulations, tax rates and other similar matters; and,

º other risks, which may be described, from time to time, in our filings with

     the SEC.

Because of these uncertainties, our actual future results may be materially
different from the results indicated by these forward looking statements. In
addition, our past results of operations do not necessarily indicate our future
results. We expressly disclaim any obligation to update or revise any
forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future
events or otherwise, except as required by law.

Critical Accounting Policies

For discussion of our significant accounting policies, see our Annual Report on
Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2021 (the 2021 10-K). Certain critical
accounting policies affect the more significant judgments and estimates used in
the preparation of our financial statements. Our most critical accounting
policies relate to the allowance for loan losses and the related provision for
loan losses and the calculation of our deferred tax asset and related valuation

The allowance represents an amount that, in the Company's judgment, will be
adequate to absorb probable and estimable losses inherent in the loan portfolio.
The judgment in determining the level of the allowance is based on evaluations
of the collectability of loans while taking into consideration such factors as
trends in delinquencies and charge-offs for relevant periods of time, changes in
the nature and volume of the loan portfolio, current economic conditions that
may affect a borrower's ability to repay and the value of collateral, overall
portfolio quality and review of specific potential losses. This evaluation is
inherently subjective because it requires estimates that are susceptible to
significant revision as more information becomes available.

Deferred tax assets or liabilities are computed based upon the difference
between financial statement and income tax bases of assets and liabilities using
the enacted marginal tax rate. In the past, the Company provided a valuation
allowance on its net deferred tax assets where it was deemed more likely than
not such assets would not be realized. At March 31, 2022 and December 31, 2021,
the Company had no valuation allowance on its net deferred tax assets.


The Company recognizes the tax benefit from an uncertain tax position only if it
is more likely than not the tax position will be sustained on examination by the
taxing authorities, based on the technical merits of the position. The tax
benefits recognized in the financial statements from such positions are then
measured based on the largest benefit that has a greater than 50% likelihood of
being realized upon settlement.

For more information on the deferred tax asset and the valuation allowance, we refer you to the section “Deferred tax asset and income taxes” below.

Overview and Highlights

The Company generated net income for the three months ended March 31, 2022 of
$1.9 million, or basic and diluted net income per share of $0.08, as compared to
the three months ended March 31, 2021 when the Company had net income of $1.6
million, or $0.07 basic and diluted net income per share. The primary drivers
for the increase were increases in net interest income of $208 thousand, a
reduction in the provision for loan losses of $86 thousand, and an increase in
total noninterest income of $241 thousand.

Net interest income increased $208 thousand due to a $270 thousand decrease in
interest expense, which more than offset a $62 thousand decrease in interest
income. Although year-over-year there was a $36.3 million increase in the volume
of earning assets, due largely to growth in the investment and loan portfolios
of $60.7 million and $9.3 million, respectively, interest income attributed to
the increased volume of earning assets increased only $43 thousand. There are a
couple of primary reasons for the results. One, the net increase was negatively
impacted comparative to the prior year due to a $312 thousand decrease in loan
fee income resulting from the forgiveness in PPP loans in 2021 which was not
replicated in 2022. We anticipate loan interest income to be less in the second
and third quarters of 2022 as compared to the same periods in 2021 for the same
reasons related to the PPP loan fee income cessation. Secondly, interest income
was negatively impacted by the repricing of earning assets at lower interest
rates which caused a year-over-year, rate related, decline of $105 thousand.
Interest expense decreased driven by the continued low interest rate environment
throughout 2021 and into the first quarter of 2022, as our overall cost of funds
fell 16 basis points year-over-year to 0.30% for the first quarter of 2022.
Also, the mix of deposits continues to shift away from time deposits to lower,
and noninterest, rate bearing deposits. Furthermore, Federal Home Loan Bank
advances were paid off resulting in a decrease in interest expense of $96,000.
In March and May 2022, the Federal Open Market Committee raised the target
federal funds rate 25 and 50 basis points, respectively, in what is largely
considered to be a series of rate increases during 2022. Due to our interest
rate sensitivity position, we anticipate interest income to increase as interest
rates increase in the near future; however, future year-over-year comparisons
may not reflect the increase due to the impact of the PPP loan forgiveness

The year-over-year reduction in the provision for loan losses of $86 thousand is
due to a combination of factors, including the improving characteristics of the
loan portfolio, as exhibited by the decline in nonperforming loans, combined
with continued improving employment metrics. Annualized net charge-offs to
average loans remain at low levels and were 0.05% for the quarter ended March
31, 2022. Nonaccrual loans to total loans and nonperforming assets to total
assets declined to 0.44% and 0.42%, respectively at March 31, 2022.

Total non-interest income increased $240,000 during the first quarter of 2022
compared to the first quarter of 2021 due to increases in service charges and
fees and card processing fees of $175 thousand and $52 thousand, respectively.
The service charges and fees increase relates to increased volume in overdraft
charges related to customer activity beginning to return to pre-pandemic levels
as businesses reopened and as customers spend savings from stimulus payments
accumulated during the pandemic. Card processing fee revenue is also volume
related for reasons similar to those impacting service charge income. In
addition, year-over-year, fees generated through financial and merchant services
increased $12 thousand and $11 thousand, respectively, due to increased volume
from both new and existing customers using these services. We continue efforts
to increase noninterest income revenue through product enhancements and customer

Total non-interest expense increased $90 thousand, as salaries and benefits
expense increased $196 thousand due to the impact of increasing our minimum base
hourly wage in the fourth quarter of 2021, targeted salary adjustments to retain
and attract employees, combined with normal annual wage adjustments and added
accrued costs for performance incentive plans to be awarded in the first quarter
of 2023, if 2022 goals are met. Occupancy expense decreased $170 thousand due
largely to the reduction in the number of buildings through sales or transfers
to other real estate owned. Additionally, net depreciation costs for furniture,
equipment and computer equipment decreased $89 thousand as assets reached the
end of their estimated economic useful lives, along with the decommissioning of
a number of interactive teller machines during the fourth quarter of 2021. Other
operating expenses increased $83 thousand year-over-year, primarily due to costs
related to the holding and disposal of other real estate owned, which increased
from $33 thousand to $130 thousand in 2021 to 2022. ATM network expenses
increased $25 thousand to $367 thousand, due to increased activity combined with
general cost increases. Miscellaneous losses increased $69 thousand to $50
thousand in 2022, as compared to net recoveries of $19 thousand in 2021. These
increased expenses were partially offset by decreases in data processing and
telecommunications costs, and FDIC insurance which decreased $19 thousand and
$21 thousand, respectively. Data processing and telecommunication costs
decreased due to the reduction in the number of branch sites and renegotiated
contracts, while FDIC insurance decreased due to the improved risk factors
considered in the premium assessment. Efforts continue to decrease non-interest
expenses of the Company and improve efficiency.


Total assets increased $18.9 million, or 2.4%, to $813.5 million at March 31,
2022 from $794.6 million at December 31, 2021, funded largely by increased
deposits as the low interest rate environment continues to provide liquidity.
Total loans increased $1.4 million, or 0.23%, to $595.1 million at March 31,
2022 from $593.7 million at December 31, 2021. Loan growth has resulted from to
increases in construction and land development loans, commercial loans secured
by real estate and multi-family loans, which grew $6.5 million, $1.2 million and
$1.4 million, respectively. Growth in these components of the portfolio offset a
reduction in commercial loans of $6.7 million. The decrease in commercial loans
was largely the result of the repayment and forgiveness of PPP loans which
declined $3.6 million during the first three months of 2022. Our loan production
operation in Boone, North Carolina, continues to generate positive results, as
well as our Tri Cities area branches in Bristol, Virginia and Kingsport,
Tennessee. Total deposits increased $23.5 million, or 3.3%, to $731.0 million at
March 31, 2022 from $707.5 million at December 31, 2021, driven by liquidity
resulting from the continuing low interest rate environment and seasonal growth
from income tax refunds.

At March 31, 2022, shareholders' equity totaled $58.9 million, a decrease of
$4.7 million, or 7.4%, from December 31, 2021. The primary cause for the net
decrease was the change in the net unrealized loss on investment securities
available for sale, which increased $5.4 million, or 668.8%, during the first
quarter of 2022, due to the impact of the change in interest rates. Excluding
the impact of the unrealized loss, equity increased $725 thousand, due to net
income of $1.9 million less the cash dividend payment of $1.2 million, which was
the first cash dividend paid by the Company.

Highlights as of and for the three-month period ended March 31, 2022 include:

The net profit for the first quarter of 2022 was $1.9 millioncompared to $1.6

million for the first quarter of 2021;

Net interest margin was 3.53% for the quarter, down 6 basis points

compared to 3.59% for the quarter ended March 31, 2021;

The allowance for loan losses has been $100,000 for the quarter, a reduction of

$86,000 compared to the first quarter of 2021;

Increase in payroll and benefits expenses $196,000i.e. 6.4%, to

$3.3 million for the first quarter of 2022 compared to the same quarter in


Total assets increased $18.9 million for $813.5 millionin the first three

month of 2022; while

Deposit balances increased $23.5 million;

Loan balances have increased $1.4 million; and

Non-performing assets, which include non-accrual loans and other real estate

possessed, totaled $3.4 million to March 31, 2022a drop $867,000or

   20.2%, during the quarter.

Comparison of three months ended March 31, 2022 for March 31, 2021

The Company's primary source of income is net interest income, which increased
by $208 thousand, or 3.2%, to $6.6 million for the first quarter of 2022
compared to $6.4 million for the first quarter of 2021. While we had increases
in average loan balances and investment securities, those were impacted by the
effect of decreases in interest rates and a decrease of $292 thousand in
nonrecurring PPP loan fees in 2022, causing interest income to decrease by $62
thousand. However, total interest expense decreased $270 thousand, which more
than mitigated the decrease in interest income. The decrease in interest expense
was driven primarily by a $253 thousand decrease in interest on deposits, a
result of growth in noninterest bearing deposits and a 16 basis-point decrease
in the cost of funds to 30 bps. Overall, the net interest margin decreased
6 bps
to 3.53%.


The following table shows the rates paid on earning assets and interest-bearing liabilities for the periods indicated:

                                            Net Interest Margin Analysis
                             Average Balances, Income and Expense, and Yields and Rates

                                               (Dollars in thousands)
                                            Three Months Ended March 31,
                                                          2022                                 2021
                                               Average   Income/   Yields/       Average       Income/      Yields/
                                               Balance   Expense    Rates        Balance       Expense       Rates
  Loans (1) (2) (3)                          $ 596,060 $   6,674     4.54%  

$586,733 $6,921 4.79%

  Federal funds sold                               218         -     0.15%              227          -          0.07%

Interest-bearing deposits with other banks 53,809 21 0.16%

87,535 19 0.09%

  Taxable investment securities                110,435       462     1.67%  

49,687,279 2.25%

  Total earning assets                         760,522     7,157     3.82%  

724,182 7,219 4.04%

  Less: Allowance for loans losses             (6,848)                              (7,303)
  Non-earning assets                            49,332                               59,938
      Total Assets                           $ 803,006                      $       776,817


  Interest-bearing demand deposits           $  67,217 $      16     0.10%  

$52,999 $14 0.11%

  Savings and money market deposits            194,195        38     0.08%          164,260         37          0.09%
  Time deposits                                196,283       376     0.78%          232,938        632          1.10%
  Short-term borrowings                              -         -        -%            5,000         17          1.34%
  Trust preferred securities                    16,496       106     2.58%           16,496        106          2.58%

Total interest-bearing liabilities 474,191,536 0.46%

471,693,806 0.69%

  Non-interest-bearing deposits                258,157         -        -%          237,454                       - %

Total deposit liabilities and cost of

  funds                                        732,348       536     0.30%  

709,147,806 0.46%

  Other liabilities                              7,575                                9,031
      Total Liabilities                        739,923                              718,178
  Shareholders' Equity                          63,083                               58,639

Total liabilities and shareholders

      Equity                                 $ 803,006                      $       776,817
  Net Interest Income                                  $   6,621                             $   6,413
  Net Interest Margin                                                3.53%                                 3.59%
  Net Interest Spread                                                3.36%                                 3.35%
(1) Nonaccrual loans and loans held for sale have been included in average loan balances.
(2) Tax exempt income is not significant and has been treated as fully taxable.
(3) Includes loans held for sale
Net interest income is affected by changes in both average interest rates and
average volumes (balances) of interest-earning assets and interest-bearing
liabilities. The following table sets forth the amounts of the total changes in
interest income and interest expense which can be attributed to rates and volume
for the period indicated:


                            Volume and Rate Analysis
                              Increase (decrease)

                                                  Three Months Ended March 31,
                                                        2022 versus 2021
                                                                         Change in
                                              Volume                     Interest
(Dollars in thousands)                        Effect    Rate Effect   Income/ Expense
Interest Income:
  Loans                                    $    (160) $        (87) $           (247)
  Federal funds sold                                -             -                 -
  Interest bearing deposits in other banks        (9)            11                 2
  Taxable investment securities                   212          (29)               183
  Total Earning Assets                             43         (105)              (62)

Interest Expense:
  Interest-bearing demand deposits                  4           (2)                 2
  Savings and money market deposits                 7           (6)                 1
  Time deposits                                  (90)         (166)             (256)
  Short-term borrowings                          (17)             -              (17)
  Trust preferred securities                        -             -                 -
  Total Interest-bearing Liabilities             (96)         (174)             (270)
  Change in Net Interest Income            $      139 $          69 $             208

Based on our current assessment of the loan portfolio, a lower provision of $100
thousand was made in the first quarter of 2022, after considering the continued
improvement in loan quality, exhibited by reductions in past due and nonaccrual
loans and classified assets. For a discussion of the factors affecting the
allowance for loan losses, including provision expense, refer to Note 7,
Allowance for Loan Losses, in Item 1 of this Form 10-Q.

Noninterest income for the first quarter of 2022 was $2.4 million, an increase
of $240 thousand, or 11.3%, when compared to the same period in 2021. As
discussed previously, increased revenues from service charges and card servicing
fees, which increased $175 thousand and $52 thousand, respectively, were the
primary drivers of this improvement. Revenue from financial services activities
increased $12 thousand, or 5.3%, while merchant services income increased $11
thousand or 37.6%, as we continue to develop, or expand existing, customer
relationships in these service sectors.

Total non-interest expense increased $90 thousand, year-over-year for the three
month period ending March 31, 2022. As previously discussed, increases to
salaries and benefits expenses of $196 thousand were largely offset by reduced
occupancy expenses which decreased $170 thousand.

The efficiency ratio, a non-GAAP measure which is defined as non-interest expense divided by the sum of net interest income and non-interest income, improved to 71, 6% for the first quarter of 2022, compared to 74.3% for the first quarter of 2022, as we continue to implement changes to increase revenue and further control operating expenses.

On April 29, 2022, the Bank notified its principal regulators that it will be
closing branch offices in Big Stone Gap and Chilhowie, Virginia, on August 12,
2022. Accounts serviced at these offices will be transferred to nearby branches,
and employees will be reassigned to other positions or offices, as available.
Interactive teller machines at these locations will remain in service for the
foreseeable future. This restructuring of the branch network should improve the
efficiency of service to the customers of these communities.

Income tax expense for the first quarter of 2022 totaled $530 thousand, an
increase of $108 thousand, or 25.6% from the $422 thousand recorded during the
same period in 2021. The year-over-year increase approximates the increase
pre-tax earnings.

Balance Sheet

Total assets increased $18.9 million, or 2.4%, to $813.5 million at March 31,
2022 from $794.6 million at December 31, 2021. This growth was primarily driven
by the $23.5 million increase in deposits, which has increased interest-bearing
deposits in other banks and has helped fund loan growth which increased $16.0
million and $1.4 million, respectively.


Total investments decreased $538 thousand, or 0.5%, to $106.8 million at March
31, 2022 due primarily to an increase of $6.9 million in net unrealized losses
and $4.2 million of repayments and maturities, which were largely offset by
purchases of $10.7 million. It is expected that purchases will continue as we
deploy excess liquidity, and use the investment portfolio to manage the balance
sheet and increase the return on earning assets.

There were $100 thousand of loans held for sale at March 31, 2022 versus $0 at
December 31, 2021. These loans are originated for sale into the secondary market
on a best efforts basis.

Loans receivable increased $1.4 million, or 0.2%, due mainly to increases in
construction and land development loans, commercial loans secured by real estate
and multi-family loans, which grew $6.5 million, $1.2 million and $1.4 million,
respectively. Growth in these components of the portfolio offset a reduction in
commercial loans of $6.7 million. The decrease in commercial loans was largely
the result of the repayment and forgiveness of PPP loans which declined $3.6
million during the first three months of 2022. At March 31, 2022, PPP loans
totaled $2.8 million.

Total deposits increased $23.5 million, or 3.3%, to $731.0 million at March 31,
2022 from $707.5 million at December 31, 2021, due to increases in
noninterest-bearing demand deposits of $18.0 million, or 7.2%, and
interest-bearing deposits of $5.5 million, or 1.2%. The increase in deposits was
driven mainly by increases in interest-bearing NOW and demand deposits and other
interest-bearing transaction accounts which increased $5.5 million and $5.6
million, respectively, offset by a decrease in time deposits of $5.7 million.
The increase in deposits is something experienced across the industry, due to
the continuing low interest rate environment, combined with the lingering impact
of various stimulus and liquidity measures implemented by the government during
the peak of the pandemic. While it is likely that recent and expected increases
to the federal funds rate will, at some point, impact liquidity, we continue to
maintain core deposits through attractive consumer and commercial deposit
products and strong ties with our customer base and communities.

Preferred Securities Trust of $16.5 million to March 31, 2022 remained unchanged from December 31, 2021.

Total equity at March 31, 2022 was $58.9 million, a decrease of $4.7 million, or
7.4%, compared to $63.6 million at December 31, 2021. As discussed previously
and in the Capital Resources section the primary driver of the decline was the
$5.4 million net increase in the other accumulated comprehensive loss, related
to the unrealized loss on available for sale investment securities, along with a
cash dividend payment. The increase in other accumulated comprehensive loss is
related to the recent increase in interest rates and is not related to any
deterioration in the credit quality of any investment securities held.

Asset Quality

Non-performing assets decreased $867 thousand, or 20.2%, during the first three
months of 2022, driven by a decrease in nonaccruing loan balances of $301
thousand, a decrease in other real estate owned (OREO) of $566 thousand. As a
result, the ratio of nonperforming assets to total assets decreased to 0.42% at
March 31, 2022 compared to 0.54% at December 31, 2021.

Non-performing assets include outstanding loans, OREOs, and loans past due more than 90 days that are still earning interest. Our policy is to place loans on non-accumulation once they reach 90 days past due. The composition of unaccrued loans is primarily that secured by residential mortgages and commercial real estate.

OREO is primarily made up of commercial properties, farmland and land of which
$475 thousand consists of former branch office sites that were transferred to
OREO in 2021. Those two remaining branch sites at March 31, 2022, were sold in
May 2022, bringing our OREO balance down to $321 thousand. We continue extensive
and aggressive measures to work through problem credits and liquidate foreclosed
properties in an effort to reduce nonperforming assets. We remain mindful of the
impact on earnings and capital as we work to achieve our goal to reduce
nonperforming assets. However, we may recognize some losses and reductions in
the allowance for loan loss as we expedite the resolution of these problem

Loans rated substandard or below totaled $2.6 million at March 31, 2022, a
decrease of $261 thousand from $2.9 million at December 31, 2021. Total past due
loans decreased to $2.7 million at March 31, 2022 from $3.4 million at December
31, 2021. Please refer to Note 6 Loans in Section 1 of this Form 10-Q for
additional details related to loan ratings and past due loans.


Our allowance for loan losses at March 31, 2022 was $6.8 million, or 1.14% of
total loans as compared to $6.7 million, or 1.13%, of total loans at December
31, 2021. Impaired loans totaled $2.8 million with an estimated related specific
allowance of $199 thousand for potential losses at March 31, 2022 as compared to
$2.8 million of impaired loans with an estimated related allowance of $166
thousand at the end of 2021. A provision of $100 thousand was recorded for the
first quarter of 2022 compared to $186 thousand for the first three months of
2021. In the first three months of 2022, net charge-offs were $76 thousand, or
0.05% of average loans, annualized, as compared to $84 thousand, or 0.06%, of
average loans for the same period of 2021. The allowance for loan losses is
being maintained at a level that management deems appropriate to absorb any
potential future losses and known impairments within the loan portfolio, whether
or not the losses are actually ever realized. We continue to adjust the
allowance for loan loss model to best reflect the risks in the portfolio and the
changes made in our internal policies and procedures; however, future provisions
may be deemed necessary. Due to uncertainties related to the ongoing pandemic
and the resulting economic uncertainty, internal and external qualitative
factors that were revised early in the pandemic remain largely in place. These
revisions included reviewing our internal scoring related to loan modifications
and extensions, and external factors, specifically, unemployment and other
economic factors.

We have commenced the process of preparing to implement the Current Expected
Credit Loss (CECL) model to replace our legacy loan loss model. We are on
schedule to be testing and running concurrent quarterly calculations of both the
legacy and CECL models by the end of the second quarter 2022.

           Selected Credit Ratios
                                                      March 31,            December 31,
(Dollars in thousands)                                     2022                    2021
Allowance for loan losses                           $     6,759          $        6,735
Total loans                                             595,132                 593,744
Allowance for loan losses to total loans                   1.14 %                  1.13 %
Nonaccrual loans                                    $     2,640          $ 


Nonaccrual loans to total loans                            0.44 %          


Ratio of allowance for loan losses to
nonaccrual loans                                           2.56 X                  2.29 X

Charge-offs net of recoveries                       $        76          $          828
Average loans                                       $   596,046          $      586,963
Net charge-offs to average loans                           0.05 %          
       0.14 %

Deferred tax assets and income taxes

Due to timing differences between book and tax treatment of several income and
expense items, a net deferred tax asset, excluding the deferred tax asset on the
unrealized loss on securities available for sale, of $2.6 million and $1.7
million existed at March 31, 2022 and December 31, 2021, respectively. Our
income tax expense was computed at the corporate income tax rate of 21% of
taxable income. We have no significant nontaxable income or nondeductible

Capital Resources

Total shareholders' equity at March 31, 2022 was $58.9 million compared to $63.6
million at December 31, 2021, a decrease of $4.7 million, or 7.4%. As previously
discussed, this decline was driven by the $5.4 million net increase in the
accumulated comprehensive loss related to the unrealized loss on investment
securities available- for-sale. Excluding the impact of the unrealized loss,
equity increased $725 thousand, due to net income of $1.9 million less the cash
dividend payment of $1.2 million.

The Company meets the eligibility criteria to be classified as a small bank
holding company in accordance with the Federal Reserve's Small Bank Holding
Company Policy Statement issued in February 2015 and is therefore not obligated
to report consolidated regulatory capital. The Bank continues to be subject to
various capital requirements administered by banking agencies.


The Bank’s capital ratios as well as the minimum regulatory thresholds to be considered well capitalized are presented in note 4 of item 1 of this Form 10-Q.

To March 31, 2022, the Bank remains well capitalized in the regulatory framework for prompt corrective action. The ratios mentioned above for the Bank are in line with the Federal Reserve rules to align with Basel III Capital

Book value per common share was $2.46 at March 31, 2022, and $2.66 at December
31, 2021. Excluding the impact of the accumulated other comprehensive loss, book
value per share was $2.72 and $2.69 at March 31, 2022 and December 31, 2021,
respectively. Other key performance indicators are as follows:

                                      Three months ended March 31,
                                          2022                2021
Return on average assets1                         0.97%        0.83%
Return on average equity1                        12.35%       10.96%
Average equity to average assets                  7.86%        7.55%

1 - Annualized

Under current economic conditions, we believe it is prudent to continue to
retain capital sufficient to support planned asset growth while being able to
absorb potential losses that may occur if asset quality deteriorates, and based
upon projections, we believe our current capital levels will be sufficient.

During the first quarter of 2022, the Company paid its first cash dividend of
$0.05 to shareholders. Earnings will continue to be retained to provide capital
to support the planned growth and operations of the Company and to continue to
pay any future dividends to shareholders.

On April 28, 2022 the board of directors of the Company authorized the
repurchase of up to 500,000 shares of the Company's outstanding common stock
through March 31, 2023. The actual means and timing of any purchases, number of
shares and prices or range of prices will be determined by the Company in its
discretion and will depend on a number of factors, including the market price of
the Company's common stock, general market and economic conditions, and
applicable legal and regulatory requirements. There is no assurance that the
Company will purchase any shares under this program


We closely monitor our liquidity and our liquid assets in the form of cash, due
from banks, federal funds sold, and unpledged available for sale investments.
Collectively, those balances were $184.7 million at March 31, 2022, an increase
of $25.4 million from $159.3 million at December 31, 2021. A surplus of
short-term assets is maintained at levels management deems adequate to meet
potential liquidity needs during 2022.

At March 31, 2022, all of our investment securities were classified as
available-for-sale. These investments provide a source of liquidity in the
amount of $95.8 million, which is net of the $11.1 million of securities pledged
as collateral. Investment securities available for sale serve as a source of
liquidity while yielding a higher return versus other short-term investment
options, such as federal funds sold and overnight deposits with the Federal
Reserve Bank.

Our loan to deposit ratio was 81.4% at March 31, 2022 and 83.9% at December 31,
2021. We anticipate this ratio to remain at or below 90% for the foreseeable

Available third-party sources of liquidity at March 31, 2022 include the
following: a line of credit with the FHLB, access to brokered certificates of
deposit markets and the discount window at the Federal Reserve Bank. We also
have the ability to borrow $30.0 million in unsecured federal funds through
credit facilities extended by correspondent banks.

The Bank's line of credit with the FHLB is $198.6 million, with unused
availability at March 31, 2022 of $186.6 million. No FHLB advances were
outstanding at March 31, 2022, but the credit line also secures letters of
credit totaling $12.0 million. The available line and the outstanding letters of
credit are secured by a blanket lien on our residential real estate loans which
amounted to $132.0 million at March 31, 2022.


The Bank also has access to the traded deposit market and the certificates of deposit registration service (CDARS). To March 31, 2022we did not hold any brokerage deposits and $4.4 million in CDARS reciprocal term deposits.

Additional cash is available through the Federal Reserve Bank discount window for day-to-day financing needs. We may collateralize this line with securities and loans at our discretion; however, we do not plan to use this source of funding except as a last resort.

With the on-balance sheet liquidity and other external sources of funding, we
believe the Bank has adequate liquidity and capital resources to meet our
requirements and needs for the foreseeable future. However, liquidity can be
further affected by a number of factors such as counterparty willingness or
ability to extend credit, regulatory actions and customer preferences, etc.,
some of which are beyond our control.

The bank holding company has approximately $748 thousand in cash on deposit at
the Bank at March 31, 2022. The holding company receives periodic dividend
payments from the Bank which are used to pay operating expenses, trust preferred
interest payments, and fund dividend payments to shareholders. The Company makes
quarterly interest payments on the trust preferred securities.

As discussed in the Capital Resources section, on April 28, 2022, the board of
directors of the Company authorized the repurchase of up to 500,000 shares of
the Company's outstanding common stock through March 31, 2023. Payments for any
repurchases will be distributed from available funds, or from dividends payments
from the Bank.

Off-balance sheet items and contractual obligations

There have been no material changes during the quarter ended March 31, 2022 to
the off-balance sheet items and the contractual obligations disclosed in our
2021 Form 10-K.

© Edgar Online, source Previews

EY Announces Marcus Lewis of Full View as a Finalist for the 2022 Entrepreneur Of The Year® Michigan and Northwest Ohio Award Mon, 16 May 2022 12:12:00 +0000

Marcus Lewis, owner of Full View Productions is a finalist for the 2022 Michigan and Northwest Ohio EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® Award

A black man stands near a banner with a glass trophy

Marcus Lewis, President of Full View Productions, pictured at the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2022 Michigan and Northwest Ohio Finalist Luncheon on Wednesday, May 11, 2022

A blue flame wheel next to the text Full View Productions Visual Content Creators

Full View Productions is a Black-Owned, Minority-Certified, Full-Service Video Production Company in Detroit, MI.

Celebrating ambitious pioneers tackling our greatest challenges

It is a privilege to be a finalist. It’s been an incredible journey and I’m grateful to be honored alongside innovative finalists.

—Marcus Lewis

DETROIT, MICHIGAN, USA, May 16, 2022 / — Ernst & Young LLP (EY US) today announced that Marcus Lewis of Full View Productions has been named Entrepreneur of the Year® 2022 Michigan and Northwest Ohio finalist. Entrepreneur Of The Year is one of the most competitive awards for entrepreneurs and high-growth business leaders who think big to succeed.

Marcus Lewis was selected by a panel of independent judges based on the following criteria – entrepreneurship, purpose, growth and impact – among other key contributions and attributes.

“It is a privilege to be a finalist for Entrepreneur of the Year, the world’s most prestigious award for entrepreneurs. It’s been an amazing trip and I’m grateful to be honored alongside the innovative finalists from Michigan and Northwest Ohio.
Marcus Lewis, President and CEO of Full View Productions

Full View Productions is a full-service video production company located in Detroit, MI. Full View brings the best creativity, technical expertise and collaborative energy to corporate clients interested in telling cultural stories so they understand the production process, enjoy it and get the visual content they need. Full View uses cinema-grade equipment and technology to deliver engaging visuals that capture the customer’s vision. Full View’s diverse portfolio of corporate videos, commercials and creative content demonstrates their dedication to developing exceptional ideas and providing production and post-production services.

Regional finalists will be recognized and winners announced at the Michigan and Northwest Ohio Awards Celebration on June 23, 2022 at One Campus Martius in Detroit. The regional winners will then be considered by the independent national judging panel for the National Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, which will be presented in November at the annual Strategic Growth Forum.®, one of the nation’s most prestigious gatherings of high-growth, market-leading companies. The winner of the overall national Entrepreneur of the Year award will then compete for the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ award in June 2023.

For more than 35 years, EY US has celebrated the unstoppable entrepreneurs who are building a more equitable, sustainable and prosperous world for all. The Entrepreneur Of The Year program has rewarded more than 10,000 U.S. executives since its inception in 1986. Entrepreneur Of The Year award winners have exclusive and ongoing access to the experience, insight and wisdom of other alumni and other members of the entrepreneurial community in more than 60 countries. countries – all backed by extensive EY resources.

Founded and produced by Ernst & Young LLP, the Entrepreneur of the Year Awards are presented by PNC Bank. In Michigan and northwest Ohio, sponsors also include Donnelley Financial Solutions, Trion Solutions Inc., Foley & Lardner LLP and Tanner Friedman Strategic Communications.

About Entrepreneur of the Year®
Entrepreneur Of The Year is the world’s most prestigious business awards program for unstoppable entrepreneurs. These visionary leaders bring innovation, growth and prosperity that are transforming our world. The program engages entrepreneurs with ideas and experiences that drive growth. It connects them with their peers to strengthen entrepreneurship around the world. Entrepreneur Of The Year is the first and only truly global awards program of its kind.
It celebrates entrepreneurs through regional and national awards programs in more than 145 cities in more than 60 countries. National winners compete for the title of EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year™.

About EY Private
As Advisors to the Ambitious™, EY Private’s professionals have the experience and passion to help private companies and their owners unlock the full potential of their ambitions. EY Private Teams offer distinct perspectives born from EY’s long history of working with business owners and entrepreneurs. These teams support the full spectrum of private businesses, including private equity managers and investors and the portfolio companies they fund, business owners, family businesses, family offices and entrepreneurs. Visit

About EY
EY exists to build a better world of work, helping to create long-term value for customers, people and society and to build confidence in capital markets.

Enabled by data and technology, diverse EY teams in more than 150 countries deliver trust through assurance and help clients grow, transform and operate.

Working across insurance, advisory, legal, strategy, tax and transactional areas, EY teams ask better questions to find new answers to the complex issues facing our world today. today.

EY refers to the global organization and may refer to one or more of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. Information on how EY collects and uses personal data and a description of the rights of individuals under data protection legislation are available at EY member firms do not practice law where local law prohibits it. For more information about our organization, please visit

Ernst & Young LLP is a member firm serving clients of Ernst & Young Global Limited operating in the United States.

Rachel Washington
Full view of productions
+1 313-355-6900
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Full View of Productions – 2021 Year-End Recap

Cryptocurrency regulation in Europe enters a new phase Sun, 15 May 2022 21:14:55 +0000

Until a few years ago, legally speaking, cryptocurrencies were somewhat common in many European countries.

“There were no regulations,” Nicolette Kost De Sèvres, a partner at Mayer Brown in Paris, told International. “It is rare that one sees such gray areas in the legal field.”

That’s about to change.

In 2020, the executive body of the European Union proposed a set of new rules to fill the legal void surrounding cryptocurrency service providers. With its Crypto Asset Markets Regulation (MiCA) – part of a larger legislative package aimed at regulating fintech – the European Commission wants to protect investors and ensure market stability by requiring cryptocurrencies to comply with the same terms of transparency, disclosure, licensing, compliance, authorization and monitoring. conditions than other financial products, while harmonizing the legal framework for cryptocurrency in the 27 member countries of the bloc.

The new EU-wide regulations will help the cryptocurrency market build credibility, said Olivier Van den broeke, senior partner in the Antwerp office of Baker McKenzie. “If it’s better regulated and better supervised, there will be more confidence from investors [and] financial markets in particular. This will help everyone involved in the market.

The new regulation will also introduce a new European “passport” that would allow non-European cryptocurrency platforms and other service providers to apply for a license that will allow them to operate in all 27 member countries.

At the moment, that’s not possible, said Christian Hissnauer, an attorney in the Frankfort office of Clifford Chance. Major crypto-asset trading platforms from the United States and Asia are “very interested in accessing the European market and in particular the German market, but the problem they have is [that] they have to look at various national regimes and check if there is any sort of regulation,” he said.

This is why the new EU-wide license is “a major game changer”, Van den broeke said. “Because it will really open up European markets and help existing players to grow and expand into other member states.”

Most attorneys interviewed for this article said the bill, often referred to as MiCA, strikes a reasonably good balance between consumer protection and market intervention.

“MiCA, I would say, is positive in the sense that it gives a clear framework without being extremely limiting on the use and fundamentally the existence of cryptos,” said Kost De Sèvres of Mayer Brown.

But as in other parts of the world, the ultimate effectiveness of regulation will depend on its ability to keep up with the fast pace of the cryptocurrency world, lawyers have said. The EU bill was first proposed in 2020 and will likely enter into force in 2024.

“There is certainly a risk that as soon as the regulation comes into force, there will be things that fall outside the scope of the MiCA regulation because everything is changing so quickly when it comes to cryptocurrencies,” said Van den broeke, adding that it is possible. European lawmakers will immediately need to amend the MiCA regulation.

A boon for a law firm

Regardless of the effectiveness of the new regulations, lawyers said the MiCA will certainly generate a lot of work for law firms in the years to come.

“When MiFID II and MiFID II were introduced, it really brought many, many, many work,” said Pien Kerckhaert, a partner in Dentons’ banking and finance practice group in Amsterdam, referring to the passing of two previous pieces of legislation regulating financial instruments in the EU. “It will be the same [for] Mica.”

Although the EU has only recently proposed cryptocurrency regulation, some Western European countries have already tried to control cryptocurrency providers at the national level. Countries like the Netherlands and, more recently, Belgium, for example, have used existing EU anti-money laundering rules to introduce a registration requirement for virtual currency service providers. “These are almost disguised licensing requirements for these virtual currency service providers,” Van den broeke said.

Germany, meanwhile, has been something of an exception, with cryptocurrencies already subject to strict requirements, Hissnauer said. Under German banking law, companies that want to offer cryptocurrency trading or custody services, or intermediaries between cryptocurrency investors and sellers, need a German banking license and are essentially subject to the same requirements as investment firms.

“Germany is, when it comes to crypto-assets and cryptocurrencies, a fully regulated country,” he said.

The interest of law firms in cryptocurrencies also varies from country to country. In France, Kost de Sèvres said cryptocurrencies are still a niche market in the legal market, with demand for legal expertise outweighing the number of companies with a genuine digital finance offering. But she expected it to quickly become a “much bigger area for law firms” in the coming years.

“Those [lawyer] teams that see [that shift] and are ready will be the winners,” she said. “Because they will move as fast as the market.”

In Germany, on the other hand, most international law firms have understood the importance of cryptocurrencies, Hissnauer noted. Since many international crypto custody and trading platforms wanted to access the German market and required a license to do so under the country’s national rules, they contacted German law firms for advice.

“The big international law firms – whether it’s the UK’s Magic Circle, the US law firms or the big German law firms – all have some sort of expertise in fintech or crypto-assets, or at least try to build it,” he said.

It’s something customers demand, Hissnauer said. And it’s not just traditional cryptocurrency platforms that need their services. Their traditional customers want to use crypto assets as a sort of commodity to “tokenize” certain assets, which means they want to convert assets into a token that can be saved on a blockchain, he explained.

Given the varied nature of cryptocurrency legal work, major firms have taken a multidisciplinary approach.

“What we see and do at Clifford Chance, and what I see at other companies as well, is you really try to combine different levels of expertise into one group,” Hissnauer said, noting that the he company had recently created a fintech group. “It’s something that all large law firms, but also small law firms, seek to do.”

In Belgium too, most international firms have noticed this.

“I haven’t seen many local law firms offering anything around cryptocurrencies. But the most prominent international law firms in Belgium have definitely focused on this particular area of ​​law,” said said Van den broeke “Financial services lawyers and fintech lawyers have expanded their knowledge and abilities to this particular area.”

Most legal work related to cryptocurrencies is currently regulatory advisory work – ensuring that a cryptocurrency player’s activities comply with the rules already in place or those likely to be adopted in the future. future, and also advising non-European clients on national regulations. will apply to their activities.

It is also a typically cross-border and transversal subject. Advising on cryptocurrencies requires knowledge of various investment services regulations, banking regulations and knowledge of other EU financial regulations and customer due diligence rules, said Kerckhaert de Dentons.

“You can read the MiCA regulation and interpret it, but to really grasp it, you would need to know about other regimes as well,” she said. “Otherwise it won’t be solid advice.”

Race for Illinois governors: Republicans at the forum in Belleville Sat, 14 May 2022 22:45:37 +0000

Kelsey Landis

Five Republican Illinois gubernatorial candidates hoping to unseat incumbent Democrat JB Pritzker voiced their opinions, policy goals and beliefs at a forum in Belleville on Saturday.

Darren Bailey, Gary Rabine, Paul Schimpf, Max Solomon and Jesse Sullivan shared standard GOP positions on the Second Amendment, abortion, taxes, the state’s response to COVID-19 and education, but what setting them apart were the promises they had sworn to keep if they were elected governor.

The only GOP candidate who did not show up at the forum, hosted by the St. Clair County Republican Party, was Mayor of Aurora Richard Irvin. He has mostly avoided the press and debates, but has the backing of Republican megadonor Kenneth Griffin, a Chicago hedge fund manager who has donated $45 million to Irvin’s campaign.

St. Louis-based conservative radio host Annie Frey moderated and, near the end of the forum, asked the candidates about the controversies that have arisen in their campaigns.

Frey questioned Bailey, a 56-year-old farmer and state senator from Xenia, on accusations that he supported former President Barack Obama. Bailey said he was part of an effort by late conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh calling on Republicans to vote for Democrats in the 2008 presidential primary. “Operation Chaos” suggested GOP voters vote for Hillary Clinton in an effort to split the Democratic Party.

As he took part in the effort, Bailey said he “never backed a Democrat for office and I never will.” Primary voters must choose the ballot of the party they wish to withdraw. The party they choose is public, although votes cast on the ballot are private in Illinois.

Sullivan, a 37-year-old venture capitalist from the central Illinois city of Petersburg, was asked about campaign contributions from out-of-state groups that have also donated to Democrats. Sullivan said those donors also contributed to Republican candidates.

Frey interviewed Rabine, a 58-year-old businessman from the affluent northern Illinois village of Bull Valley, about unpaid tax liens. In March, The WCIA reported that Rabine owed more than $10,200 in outstanding state taxes to a company he dissolved in 2019. Rabine told WCIA he tried to contact the state.

“Illinois never responded to us with this tax lien,” Rabine said at the forum.

Schimpf, a 51-year-old former state senator and Navy veteran, answered a question about “overcoming the fundraising advantage of other Republican gubernatorial candidates.” He said he would rely on “grassroots” efforts to mobilize people ahead of the June 28 primary.

“Most people haven’t made up their minds,” Schimpf said.

Soloman, a private practice attorney from Chicago, said just because he’s from the state’s largest city doesn’t mean he can’t represent southern Illinois.

“We can make Cook County red again,” Solomon said.

The candidates made the same promises on several objectives:

  • Reverse a criminal justice reform law passed in 2021; support law enforcement.
  • Make abortions harder to get in Illinois or make them illegal; restore a law obliging minors to declare their parents before abortion.
  • Eliminate the requirement for a firearms owner identification card, or FOID card, to own a firearm.
  • Freeze and reduce property and gas taxes to attract residents to Illinois.
  • Reduce regulations and business taxes,

Here are other promises made by the candidates during the forum.

Darren Bailey

  • Hand out “pink ballots” on his first day in office, replacing state agency heads.
  • Governing from Springfield, not Chicago.
  • “Make abortion unnecessary” by partnering with civic organizations and churches to “respect and support life”.
  • Work to implement term limits.

  • Asked about the COVID-19 mandates, Bailey said he believed the government’s role was to educate, inform and provide, but should leave it to “us the people to decide.” how we are going to live”.

Gary Rabin

  • Rid Illinois of its “sanctuary state status” – Illinois is growing protections for immigrants and refugees in recent years, establishing itself as a welcoming “sanctuary” state.
  • Lower business taxes to attract more businesses and residents to the state, possibly broadening the tax base. Rabine previously said Illinois would have to “tighten its belt” to achieve that goal, but did not specify what services or costs it would cut to make up for lost revenue.
  • Removing sex education books from school libraries, he says, amounts to “child pornography”.
  • Support funding for Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASA – a program that provides volunteers who advocate for abused and neglected children in the child welfare system.

Paul Schimpf

  • Promised not to run for office if he does not “significantly reduce crime in Illinois”.
  • Work for a “parents’ bill of rights” that would require program transparency. The candidate said parents would not have “veto power” over school programs, but his plan would give parents and local school boards more control.

  • Manage property tax increases by requiring all increases to be approved by vote. This means that property taxes would only increase if a community approved a property tax increase through a referendum.

  • Schimpf promised to be a “pro-life” governor, but also said he would “run on issues that will unify” Republican and “Crusader” centrist voters.

Max Solomon

jesse sullivan

  • Overturn a sex education law that directs the Illinois State Board of Education to update school curricula with information on gender identity and sexual orientation, among other topics. Parents already have the option of withdrawing their children from this learning by law.

  • Like Solomon, Sullivan supports the school choice.
  • Replace members of the Illinois State Board of Education.

  • Sullivan believes the election is not “just a partisan battle” between Democrats and Republicans, but a “battle around our core values, a spiritual battle.” He thinks the Republicans are losing because “everybody buys into this idea of ​​the separation of church and state.” Sullivan said he believed “religious values ​​can and are meant to insert themselves into government, and God belongs at the center of our politics.”

  • Advocate for “local control” if the COVID-19 pandemic worsens again.

Kelsey Landis is an Illinois state affairs and political reporter for the Belleville News-Democrat. She joined the newsroom in January 2020 after her first stint at the newspaper from 2016 to 2018. She graduated from Southern Illinois University in 2010 and received a master’s degree from DePaul University in 2014. Landis previously worked at The Alton Telegraph. At BND, she is dedicated to informing you of what your legislators in Springfield and Washington, DC are doing, and she strives to hold them accountable. Landis has won awards from the Illinois Press Association for his work, including the Freedom of Information Award.

State-run body to be merged with SRA Sat, 14 May 2022 06:17:26 +0000

The state-owned company Shiv Shahi Punarvasan Prakalp, which was created to ensure that the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) quickly implements projects by supporting developers financially, could be merged into the SRA.

Previously a division of the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada), Shiv Shahi was incorporated as a legal entity in 1998 under the Companies Act 1956 as Shivshahi Punarvasan Prakalp Ltd. (SPPL).

However, after more than two decades, it could not achieve its goals, which led to the proposal to merge it with the SRA. Satish Lokhande, the CEO of SRA, confirmed the merger and said: “The proposal has been accepted by the State, while an official government resolution from the office of the Chief Minister is awaited.

He added that the SPPL has about 3,000 permanent transit buildings. Lokhande said that once the merger is complete, the SRA can use this transitional housing stock to accommodate those who have not received rent from developers in recent years under incomplete or discontinued programs under the regulations. on Developmental Control (DCR) 33(11).

It is also believed that SPPL can be turned into the rehabilitation wing of SRA. “However, an order is yet to come,” Lokhande said.

At present, not a single slum rehabilitation and redevelopment project is underway. Therefore, the merger cannot be disrupted, clarified the CEO of SRA. When asked if SPPL had recently put out a tender inviting private developers to award transit accommodation on a leave and license basis, he replied that the SRA would.

Meanwhile, given the adequate stock of transit accommodation available with Shivshahi, Building Repair and Redevelopment Council MHADA Mumbai has now requested to give them 500 units that can be used to accommodate residents staying in unsafe buildings, in particular those which will be declared before. the start of the monsoon.

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Posted: Saturday, May 14, 2022, 11:47 a.m. IST

Ask for SCORE: Legal Steps Every Small Business Should Follow – Albert Lea Tribune Sat, 14 May 2022 01:49:45 +0000

Ask for SCORE by Dean Swanson

As an entrepreneur, you are a special breed. Not afraid to dream big and take risks, you also know that a little common sense is the key to the best job in the world: owning your own business. In this column, I’ll share an example of the resources that are available on a given topic. I chose to use the topic of legal steps every small business CEO should consider and then provide a reference article for each step as they work through these challenges for their business. Think of it as your legal toolbox.

Dean Swanson

Before you turn your inspiration into action, make sure you’re grounded by following these simple steps to launch your small business, increase your sales, and limit your liability.

1. Decide on a business type

The type of entity you choose for your business – whether sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company or limited liability company – determines how you file your taxes, puts in place legal protections and, most importantly, limits your liability. Incorporating your business also registers these details with the government.

To learn more, see this article:

2. Protect yourself with a prenuptial agreement

Cast with a partner? A buy-sell agreement protects everyone from situations that could complicate ownership. If one partner wants out, divorces or dies, the buy-sell agreement can protect against sticky situations when ownership shares are transferred to the wrong person.

Learn more by reading this article:

3. Develop a business plan

The articles of association specify the structure of your small business. Will you have a board of directors, shareholders or other company executives? The statutes of the company gather these ducks and specify the rules and the calendar of the meetings. It is essentially the blueprint for your business.

Learn more by reading this article:

4. Write a solid business plan

Business plans wear two hats: they provide you with an overview to help you stay focused on your small business goals and strategies, and they can be used to present to banks and investors when you need financing.

To learn more, see this article:

5. Protect your secrets

When you start hiring people and forming partnerships with other companies and contractors, a nondisclosure agreement keeps your confidential information from falling into the wrong hands. It also specifies what information is actually acceptable to share.

To learn more, see this article:

6. Stay compliant with company minutes

States require that some sort of record be made of what is discussed and conducted at formal board and shareholder meetings. A business minutes can record all of these details to ensure your small business follows all the rules.

To learn more, see this article:

7. Manage expectations with an employment contract

People make a small business successful, and an employment contract protects everyone involved by putting expectations in writing. Injury and discrimination claims are on the rise, and while employment contracts can’t prevent all lawsuits, they reduce risk by defining rules, responsibilities, and setting everyone’s expectations.

Learn more by reading this article:

8. Build your skills with independent contractors

Some situations require specialized help, such as graphic design or public relations. If you hire a non-employee for some support, an independent contractor agreement can ensure everyone is on the same page going forward.

Learn more by checking out this article:

9. Set up on a pitch

They say location is everything, especially if your business receives customers, sells products, or provides services on-site. A commercial real estate lease makes it possible to ensure the tightness of the rental contract and the solidity of the tenant/landlord relationship.

Learn more by going to this article:

10. Plan ahead

Your small business is an important asset and source of personal income. Should anything happen, a last will can protect your business and your family from unnecessary expenses, inheritance taxes and potential disagreements.

To learn more, see this article:

As you follow the path of entrepreneurship, you may come across situations where you could benefit from the advice of a professional. Work with a SCORE mentor who can point you in the right direction.

Dean Swanson is a volunteer Certified SCORE Mentor and past SCORE Chapter President, District Director and Regional Vice President for the Northwest Region.

SEC sues Florida firm that raised $410 million over IPO-related fraud filings Fri, 13 May 2022 19:29:00 +0000

NEW YORK, May 13 (Reuters) – The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday sued a Florida company that allegedly raised at least $410 million by fraudulently promising investors access to private companies that might proceed to IPOs.

In a civil complaint filed in Manhattan federal court, the SEC also requested an asset freeze against StraightPath Venture Partners LLC and its three founders, and the appointment of a receiver to stop “ongoing fraud” within the company. ‘business.

The SEC said StraightPath touts its investment vehicles as a way for ordinary investors to hold “coveted” and hard-to-find pre-IPO shares in companies such as plant-based burger maker Impossible Foods and the Kraken cryptocurrency exchange.

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But the SEC said the Jupiter, Fla.-based company often ran out of stock to back investments, made “Ponzi-like” payments to certain investors and improperly mixed investor and company assets.

He also said that StraightPath charges “exorbitant and undisclosed fees”, allowing founders Michael Castillero, Francine Lanaia and Brian Martinsen and fund manager Eric Lachow to pay themselves around $75 million and their sales agents nearly $48 million. of dollars.

StraightPath says it charges investors a one-time “due diligence” fee of 5%, plus a 2% management fee and 1% expense fee.

In a letter to U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan, StraightPath attorneys called the SEC’s requests “completely unwarranted,” citing the firm’s years of cooperation and saying StraightPath presented a danger “contrary to credulity.”

Lawyers for StraightPath also said the SEC “apparently prompted” the US Department of Justice to open a grand jury investigation into the company, and that the asset freeze could interfere with individual defendants’ defenses against that investigation. criminal.

The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

According to court documents, StraightPath raised $410 million from more than 2,200 investors in at least 14 countries between November 2017 and February 2022, when it agreed with the SEC to stop soliciting new investments.

The SEC said StraightPath funds held more than $200 million in securities, but were short $14 million in pre-IPO stock for seven companies, including Impossible Foods and Kraken.

The case is SEC v StraightPath Venture Partners LLC et al, US District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 22-03897.

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Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Matthew Lewis, Barbara Lewis and Chizu Nomiyama

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

National Security and Investment Act: Cold Comfort for Office Holders | Latham & Watkins LLP Thu, 12 May 2022 18:37:55 +0000

Holders of an insolvency office may require authorization when appointing an entity in a relevant sector.

The National Security and Investment Act (NSI Act) came into effect in early January, and market participants could reasonably have expected that a common approach to the practice of mandatory and voluntary notifications would now be established. . However, due to the breadth of the provisions, the lack of clarity in their application to secured financing transactions in the normal course of business, and the consequences of a transaction failing to notify, there is still market concern that timelines operations and execution strategies are only affected in situations where there may be little obvious threat to national security.

Unwinding risk

The NSI Act applies to changes in ownership or control of assets that may pose UK national security concerns. If the entity concerned carries out certain activities in the United Kingdom in one or more of the 17 sensitive areas of the economy (such as energy, defense or communications), any transfer of ownership of the entity beyond a certain level, or if the entity itself disposes of an asset, may give rise to either a mandatory notification or a voluntary notification to the Secretary of State. If notification was required and the entity fails to obtain authorization, the consequences are serious: any transaction will automatically be considered void and the party who acquires control will be subject to criminal penalties.

Anxiety on the agenda

It is clear under the NSI Act that any actual acquisition by a third party in a relevant sector as a result of enforcement action will trigger mandatory or voluntary notification (the latter form of authorization eliminating the risk of a post-acquisition “call” by the government). However, it is unclear whether the mere appointment of an insolvency officer would itself result in a change of control requiring authorization and a potential delay in appointment, which most difficult situations can ill afford. Mirroring the PSC (persons with significant control) regime upon which much of the NSI Act legislation is based, the NSI Act includes a notification exemption for directors exercising control rights while the entity is under administration. Yet there is no such exemption for receivers, liquidators or mortgagees in possession, even though there will have been no change of control in the legal sense at the time of their respective appointments. This lack of exemption is of particular concern for named receivers on shares and is likely to add valuable time to any enforcement strategy involving such appointment in any relevant industry.

A potential solution in lender-directed sale transactions requiring regulatory approval under the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) regulations that deal with similar foreign investments has been to appoint a receiver during the sometimes lengthy approval process to give lenders a level of control, less ownership. However, this solution does not appear to be available under the UK scheme.

Timely clarity welcome

Market players are hoping the government will clarify the position that such appointments of officials do not require authorisation. During parliamentary passage of the NSI Act, the government committed to produce market guidance notes within six months of the law coming into force. The guidance notes provide a platform for clarification, as well as the removal of any lingering doubt that taking security over shares of an eligible entity or its assets will not require authorisation, at least until to the act of execution by the office holder.

Xiaomi Corp faces legal issues in India over business practices Thu, 12 May 2022 10:56:31 +0000

Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi Corp faces legal headaches in India as a federal financial crime agency and tax authorities investigate its business practices.

Xiaomi denies any wrongdoing. But it has recently made headlines with accusations that its leaders have been intimidated by Indian law enforcement officials, prompting public rebuttals from the agency and words of support from China.

Here are the details of the battles in one of Xiaomi’s key markets:


India’s financial crime agency, the Law Enforcement Directorate, has been investigating Xiaomi since February. On April 30, the agency said the smartphone maker illegally transferred funds overseas to three entities, including one from a Xiaomi Group entity, “under cover of royalties.”

It seized $725 million from Xiaomi’s local bank accounts, although an Indian court suspended that decision following a legal challenge from Xiaomi.

The Chinese company claims that its royalty payments were all legitimate and related to “licensed technology and IP” used in its Indian products.

In its court documents, Xiaomi claims such payments were made to companies such as US chip giant Qualcomm Inc and that relevant information was disclosed to Indian authorities.


Xiaomi’s Indian court filing revealed that the company alleged that its top executives were subjected to threats of “physical abuse” and coercion from the Law Enforcement Branch.

The company alleged that Indian agents repeatedly questioned Xiaomi’s global vice president and former head of India, Manu Kumar Jain, as well as current chief financial officer Sameer BS Rao, and warned them of the “consequences disastrous” if they did not submit the declarations desired by the agency.

The Reuters report exposing the accusations prompted a response from the federal agency, which called Xiaomi’s allegations “false and baseless” and said the executives were “voluntarily deposed in the most conducive environment”. .

China’s Foreign Ministry in Beijing also responded, asking New Delhi to conduct law enforcement investigations and ensure Chinese companies were not discriminated against.


Chinese companies have struggled to do business in India since 2020, when a border clash occurred between the two nations. India has cited security concerns by banning more than 300 Chinese apps since then, including popular apps, such as TikTok, and tightening standards for Chinese companies investing in India.

Xiaomi’s offices and manufacturing units in India were raided in December as part of a separate ongoing investigation into alleged tax evasion.

And in another case in January, India’s wing of Revenue Intelligence asked Xiaomi to pay $84.5 million for allegedly evading certain import taxes.

Xiaomi expressed concerns in its latest legal filing against the Law Enforcement Branch, saying the agency’s action “creates an atmosphere of distrust and the country’s image suffers in international circles.” .


Xiaomi also sells other tech gadgets including smartwatches and TVs and has a lot going for it in the Indian market.

However, the company is best known for its affordable price range of smartphones, which has helped it grow rapidly in India. In March, the company told analysts it had maintained “the No. 1 position in India for 17 consecutive quarters.”

Its market share quadrupled from just 6% in 2016 to 24% last year, making it the Indian market leader, according to Counterpoint Research.

The company has 1,500 employees in India and provides a source of income for at least 52,000 workers employed by its third-party manufacturers, it said in its court filing.

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