Philadelphia Bank News: SEI Partners with Snowflake; WSFS closes two and more branches


A roundup of recent banking and finance news from the Philadelphia area:

Bancorp settles with SEC for $1.75 million

Bancorp has agreed to pay $1.75 million to settle claims by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over misleading disclosures, record keeping and failures in internal accounting controls regarding valuations by the U.S.-based company. Wilmington of certain commercial real estate securities.

According to the SEC order, from the first quarter of 2017 to the first quarter of 2019, The Bancorp failed to follow generally accepted accounting principles when it valued the securities it obtained from the sale of commercial real estate loans. that it created and then securitized.

The order stated that the securities obtained by The Bancorp included an interest-only component, and the bank categorized these securities as Level 3 assets. Accordingly, applicable accounting principles required the securities to be valued at their fair value and that any unobservable inputs used in the valuations reflect assumptions that other market participants would use to value the assets. The SEC order, however, alleges that in valuing the securities, Bancorp used prepayment assumptions that were inconsistent with market information reasonably available to the bank and other market participants at the time. .

The Bancorp, a $7.1 billion asset bank focused on specialty lending, said without admitting or denying any of the SEC’s allegations, the company resolved the investigation by agreeing to stop committing provisions relating to the books and records of the Securities Exchange Act and pay $1.75 million. The Company will recognize a charge in its third fiscal quarter for the amount of the settlement payment. It will also incur costs related to the investigation.

Vanguard launches new ESG fund

Vanguard Group plans to launch an actively managed environmental equity fund to invest in companies involved in decarbonization and derive at least half of their earnings from work considered to make a positive contribution to environmental change.

The Vanguard Global Environmental Opportunities Stock Fund will hold a concentrated portfolio and will be managed by Ninety One, an active investment manager with experience in environmental, decarbonization and global investing.

“Vanguard has been thoughtful and deliberate in building our ESG lineup, ensuring that each new fund meets the sustainable needs of investors,” said Dan Reyes, head of Vanguard’s portfolio review department. “We believe that Ninety One’s differentiated approach to global ESG investing will add long-term value to risk-tolerant investors who have a preference for environmental investing.”

The Global Environmental Opportunities Stock Fund, the first Vanguard fund that Ninety One will advise, will target companies seeking to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon world. This will be the first Vanguard fund advised by Ninety One.

The fund is designed for environmentally conscious investors who have a high tolerance for risk and want to complement a broadly diversified portfolio with a satellite position. It is expected to launch in Q4 2022 with a competitive spend ratio of 0.75% for investor stocks and 0.60% for admiral stocks, compared to an industry average of 0.99% for stock. similar funds. The fund’s minimum investments are $3,000 for investor shares and $50,000 for admiral shares. It is the latest in a rapidly growing lineup of environmental, social and governance investment offerings for the Malvern-based investment management giant, which had $7.1 trillion in assets under management as of April 30.

SEI partners with Snowflake for a new product

SEI Investments Co. launched SEI Data Cloud, a partnership with Montana-based cloud computing company Snowflake, to meet the financial services industry’s demand for more advanced data integration. SEI Data Cloud is designed to provide a scalable, cloud-based data platform that clients can access directly through the SEI Wealth Platform or as a standalone service. The partnership comes as finance and technology organizations increasingly need database-like access to power analytics, application development, consuming large amounts of data and reporting. advances.

Oaks-based SEI (NASDAQ:SEIC) plans to initially operate Snowflake as a data delivery and analytics platform for its wealth management platform customers, providing users with access to insights in real time and allowing a business view of the information. SEI already has two first users of SEI Data Cloud and is working with several customers to deploy the product.

Ultimately, SEI said it intends to offer enterprise information delivery, reporting and analytics capabilities to all customers across the financial services spectrum.

WSFS closes two branches

WSFS Financial Corp. closed the first two of six other branch closures related to the bank’s $910 million acquisition of Bryn Mawr Bank Corp. which was closed in January.

The locations are located at 5301 Chew Ave. in Philadelphia on the campus of La Salle University and at 1149 Cooper St. in Edgewater Park, New Jersey.

Wilmington-based WSFS (NASDAQ: WSFS) said in April 2021 it had identified 34 sites it planned to close, including 22 of 41 branches of Bryn Mawr subsidiary Bryn Mawr Trust Co. and 12 of 89 WSFS Bank websites. The closed branches included nine each in Delaware and Montgomery counties, five in Philadelphia and Chester counties, one in Bucks County, four in Delaware, and one in South Jersey. The combined bank would grow from 130 branches to 96.

When the deal was announced in March 2021, WSFS said it would close 40 branches, or 30%, most likely after the two banks’ IT systems and brands merged, which happened in March. WSFS Chief Financial Officer Dominic Canuso said last year that the bank plans to close six more sites by 2023. The North Philadelphia and Burlington County sites are the first two of those six.


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