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BancInsure parent sells firm for $1 and files bankruptcy

Oklahoma regulators ordered BancInsure to inject new capital to boost its financial stability, which had been sliding since 2008 economic crisis.
by Brianna Bailey Published: April 10, 2013

After struggling since the onset of the last financial crisis, BancInsure, an Oklahoma City-based company that insures banks and other financial institutions, has changed hands, and its former parent company has filed for bankruptcy.

Oklahoma City-based BMSI Holdings Inc. filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on Monday, reporting $59.7 million in liabilities against roughly $7,800 in assets.

The holding company sold BancInsure, its primary remaining asset, for $1 to New York-based financial services company Foster Jennings Inc. in February.

BancInsure is under orders from the Oklahoma Insurance Department to strengthen its financial position or risk being placed in receivership, Insurance Department spokesman Kelly Collins said. The Insurance rating agency A.M. Best Co. had downgraded BancInsure's credit multiple times since 2009 due to weak capitalization, before it stopped rating the company last year.

Foster Jennings recently made a new monetary investment in BancInsure that the Insurance Department is in the process of reviewing, Collins said. The amount of the investment was not immediately available from the Insurance Department because the agency was still evaluating its value on Tuesday, Collins said.

A call to Foster Jennings was not returned Tuesday.

“If the company's hazardous financial condition is not fully resolved, OID is prepared to take any and all appropriate action, up to and including appointment of a receiver,” Insurance Department spokesman Collins said.

About the companies

BancInsure provides fidelity bonds and officers' liability insurance to community banks and other financial institutions across the U.S. The company had about $73 million in assets at the end of 2012 and reported losses of $42 million for the year, according to its most recent financial statement on file with state regulators.

The company was founded in Oklahoma in 1985 to help community banks in the state maintain insurance coverage in the wake of the Penn Square Bank failure, which set off a chain reaction of other bank failures in the state, said Roger Beverage, chairman and CEO of the Oklahoma Bankers Association.

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by Brianna Bailey
Business Writer
Brianna Bailey has lived in Idaho, Germany and Southern California, but Oklahoma is her adopted home. She has a bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and has worked at several newspapers in Oklahoma and Southern...
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