BankAtlantic Bancorp’s Alan B. Levan Comments on Recent Civil Litigation Filed by the SEC Regarding 2007 Events
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- BankAtlantic Bancorps (NYSE:BBX) Chairman and CEO, Alan B. Levan, today commented on the recent civil action filed by the SEC (SCUR) against him and BankAtlantic Bancorp.
Mr. Levan stated, Obviously, we at BankAtlantic Bancorp are disappointed that the SEC has brought this action. It is first important to note that this action is directed towards the holding company, BankAtlantic Bancorp, not its banking subsidiary, BankAtlantic, and in no way impacts BankAtlantic or its operations. For almost 60 years, BankAtlantic has been a part of the very fabric of our community and has worked with its customers, particularly throughout the last several difficult years for the South Florida economy.
As a community bank in Florida, a substantial amount of our lending was secured by real estate in Florida. That is what we at BankAtlantic Bancorp told investors. As the real estate market deteriorated we warned investors that our collateral was at risk if the downturn continued. It did. We even drilled down into our loans to identify those most likely to have a problem if things got worse. We warned the market particularly about those loans. And we were right. When our borrowers could not or did not repay their loans, in many cases through no fault of their own as the market had collapsed around them, we took losses and impairments. We disclosed this as well. We publicly disclosed problems we were seeing in financial markets a good year before the government publicly acknowledged the problems with the economy. We worked tirelessly to manage our criticized assets and our business and our activities have been appropriately and correctly reported. And through it all, BankAtlantics capital has always been above the required regulatory levels.
There are many unfortunate aspects to this new civil action. We have to spend time and money in defending this action relating to our 2007 disclosures and accounting determinations made during that period. At the end, we believe the SECs credibility as a neutral enforcer of securities laws will be tarnished as the case is unsupportable and the use of public resources has been squandered. That is too bad at many levels. The SEC's role in protecting the integrity of capital markets has waned as so much of U.S. business has moved into non-reporting categories but its use of the powers it has in this fashion will, when the truth is established, diminish its power still further. More and more people will come to believe that it cannot find fraud when it exists, but will pursue it when it doesnt.
While we are sorry that we have a battle to fight, we will focus on the issue at hand and once again successfully see it through. When this case goes to trial, we will have our opportunity to address each and every one of the SEC allegations, Levan concluded.
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BankAtlantic Bancorp is a bank holding company and the parent company of BankAtlantic.
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This press release contains forward-looking statements based on current expectations that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. All opinions, forecasts, projections, future plans, beliefs or other statements, other than statements of historical fact, are forward-looking statements and include words or phrases such as believes, will, expects, anticipates, intends, estimates, our view, we see, would and words and phrases of similar import. The forward looking statements in this press release are also forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the Securities Act), and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the Exchange Act), and involve substantial risks and uncertainties. We can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to have been correct. Actual results could differ materially as a result of a variety of risks and uncertainties, many of which are outside of the control of management. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to the impact of the SEC civil action and other factors affecting BankAtlantic Bancorp (the Company). In addition to the risks and factors identified above, reference is also made to other risks and factors detailed in reports filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Companys Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010, and the Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2011. The Company cautions that the foregoing factors are not exclusive.
BankAtlantic Bancorp, Inc.:
Leo Hinkley, 954-940-5300
Investor and Corporate Communications Officer
Sharon Lyn, 954-940-6383
V.P., Investor and Corporate Communications
Source: BankAtlantic BancorpCopyright Business Wire 2012