American City Business Journals Quotes Balch Partner Debra Taylor Lewis on the Importance of Banking Relationships Following Silicon Valley Bank Collapse
Debra Taylor Lewis, partner in the firm’s Birmingham office and member of the Banking & Financial Services Practice, interviewed with the American City Business Journals about the importance of banking relationships, following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank.
The American City Business Journals (ACBJ) quoted Debra in an article published March 15, 2023 in the series The Playbook, which is published on ACBJ’s publications in more than 40 metropolitan areas around the nation, including the Birmingham Business Journal.
While companies across the nation follow the fallout from the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, Debra emphasized that the vast majority of banks are in a strong position.
Debra said the banking industry is very well capitalized, financially sound and safe. She added that she now expects increased scrutiny from regulators.
“I think we’ll see more regulation and I think we’ll see more scrutiny in the examinations of banks,” Debra said. “That’s just a natural swing of the pendulum.”
She stressed the importance of trust in the banking industry, and said customers need to be smart and accountable for their own assets to make sure they’re protected.
“People don’t need to be skittish unnecessarily,” Debra said. “They need to look at their bank. They need to look at what their bank’s assets are and look at how diverse their bank's customer base is since diversification creates strength.”
Debra called times like this “opportunities for relationship building” and encouraged banks to reach out to their customers with reassurance and education efforts.
“I think, in the long run, that is/it’s good for banks and customer relationships because 99.99% of the banks are sound and want to do the right thing,” Debra said.
Debra serves as counsel to various corporations including, national, regional, and community banks, indenture trustees, real estate developers, and owners. She is recognized for her sophisticated approach and dedicated awareness of emerging trends that impact her clients’ industries. Debra’s experience includes a wide array of regulatory, compliance, and transactional matters, including Dodd-Frank compliance, mergers and acquisitions, real estate lending and development, bank facilities transactions, and public and municipal finance issues. She possesses a deep understanding of how institutions should perform risk assessments and negotiate.