IIAA, W.R. Berkley Corp.’s InsurBanc Gains Conditional OTS Approval

November 17, 2000

InsurBanc, a full-service federal savings bank, co-owned by the Independent Insurance Agents of America (IIAA) and W.R. Berkley Corporation, was granted conditional approval by the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS). InsurBanc, which will provide an array of banking products to consumers and businesses through independent insurance agents, is targeting a 2001 opening.

The regulatory action followed a thorough review of InsurBanc’s application by the OTS. InsurBanc will be authorized to operate in three states-Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Jersey-once it meets the criteria laid out in the OTS conditional approval and obtains approval from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. There are more than 3,000 IIAA member independent agencies in these three states.

Individual consumers will have access to auto loans, credit cards, home equity loans, mortgages, certificates of deposit, money market funds and more. For business clients, the bank will offer lines of credit, commercial real estate loans, cash management services and other services.

InsurBanc will be headquartered in Farmington, Conn. Overseeing the development of InsurBanc is CEO Michael W. Herlihy, who is building the operation and handling compliance with the criteria in the OTS conditional approval. Before its launch, InsurBanc must meet several conditions specified by the OTS. These include submitting to the OTS an updated business plan reflecting all material changes from the last version submitted, maintaining a core capital ratio of at least 10 percent, submitting an agent education program, as well as several additional conditions.

W.R. Berkley Corp., with two of its subsidiaries, will be a joint owner of the thrift holding company-Peyton Street Independent Financial Services Corporation-with IIAA. W.R. Berkley Corp. is a holding company which, through its subsidiaries, operates in all segments of the property and casualty insurance business. The company’s operating units are grouped for management purposes into five segments according the market served: Regional Property Casualty Insurance, Reinsurance, Specialty Insurance, Alternative Markets and International. Its common stock is traded on the NASDAQ National Market.

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