Areas of Concentration:
Mr. Bley is the chair of the Financial Institutions Group. His practice involves the following areas:
Regulatory Intervention. Represent financial institutions (banks and non-banks) before federal and state financial institutions regulators concerning pending or existing regulatory enforcement actions, these include either "safety and soundness" or "consumer compliance" actions. Services include (a) drafting responses to reports of examination, (b) negotiating the elements of cease and desist orders, (c) advising boards concerning implementation and compliance strategies with such orders, (d) negotiating civil money penalty and license revocation orders, (e) devising management work plans and other strategies designed to satisfy and lift regulatory orders.
Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement Prevention. Practice is similar to "Regulatory Intervention" except it is preventative in nature. Work with management and boards to identify and correct safety and soundness or compliance issues before such issues become subject to enforcement actions. Such issues include but are not limited to compliance strategies with numerous pronouncements on (i) safety and soundness matters such as lending limits rules, credit quality policies, loan portfolio risk management pronouncements and anti-money laundering laws and rules and (ii) consumer compliance matters, primarily in the residential and consumer lending area, including laws dealing with truth-in-lending, truth-in-savings, RESPA, safekeeping of customer information, sharing of customer information, and applicable state consumer protection laws and licensing regimes such as the Washington Mortgage Broker Practices Act and the Consumer Loan Act.
Regulatory Relations. Assist management with regulatory approvals for new banks, bank holding companies, trust administration, non-depository operating subsidiaries, sub-chapter S conversions and other such activities. Assist financial institutions and their trade associations influence the administrative rulemaking process.
Legislative Relations. Assist clients and their trade associations draft bills and devise advocacy strategies concerning proposed legislation before state and federal legislative bodies.
Expert Witness Testimony. Provide consulting and testimony services as an expert witness in the areas of predatory lending, corporate governance, audit committee best practices and internal audit, securities fraud, state and federal regulatory safety and soundness enforcement processes and consumer compliance enforcement processes.
Strategic Planning. Facilitate board and/or management strategic planning initiatives for bank or commercial enterprises. Such processes are tailored to the needs and desires of the client but can include (a) devising, implementing, and analyzing board questionnaires (b) interviewing board members and members of the CEO's direct reports to determine board and management's view of the strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats confronting the organization, (c) facilitating board and/or management strategic planning sessions, tailored to the scope and needs of the client, (d) working with management and the board to implement "Strategic Action Plans" to facilitate implementation of the strategic strategies identified during the strategic planning sessions.
Corporate Governance. Advise on sound governance procedures especially in the areas of best audit committee practices and codes of ethics, focusing primarily on small (less than one billion dollars) non-public banks.
Mergers and Acquisitions. Assisting in the negotiation of mergers and branch acquisitions, including drafting and negotiating agreements and securing applicable regulatory approvals.