Signature Bank

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Signature Bank
TypePublic company
S&P 400 Component
IndustryBanking, Financial Services
Founded2001; 20 years ago (2001)
United States
Key people
  • Scott Shay (chairman)
  • Joseph J. DePaolo (president, CEO)
  • John Tamberlane (vice chairman and director)
Increase US$214 million (Q2 2021)[1]
Total assetsIncrease US$96.88 billion (Q2 2021)[1]
Total equityIncrease US$6.84 billion (Q2 2021)[1]
Number of employees
1,652 (2020)[2]
SubsidiariesSignature Securities Group Corporation

Signature Financial LLC

Signature Public Funding Corp.

Signature Bank is a New York-based full-service commercial bank with 37 private client offices throughout the New York, Connecticut, California, and North Carolina.[3] Signature Bank's specialty finance subsidiary, Signature Financial LLC, provides equipment finance and leasing.[4] Signature Securities Group Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary, is a licensed broker-dealer and investment adviser offering investment, brokerage, asset management, and insurance products and services.[5]

At the end of Q2 2021, the bank had total assets of $96.88 billion, deposits of $85.56 billion, and loans of $53.99 billion.[6]


Signature Bank was founded in 2001. Founders Joseph J. DePaolo, the bank's current president and chief executive officer, Scott A. Shay, chairman of the board, and John Tamberlane, vice chairman and director, conceptualized the idea of a commercial bank that would cater to clients through a distinctive single-point-of-contact approach. This client-centric model focuses on serving the needs of privately owned businesses, their owners, and senior managers, an underserved market overlooked by competitors. Upon inception, the bank began competing against some of the nation's largest too-big-to-fail megabanks by catering to this market niche. This has since become the hallmark of Signature Bank's model and growth as it continues to target and successfully address the needs of this market.[7] The bank completed its initial public offering in March 2004 and began trading on the NASDAQ under the symbol SBNY.[8] In 2018, the bank expanded its footprint and commenced operations on the West Coast with the opening of its first private client banking office in San Francisco, California.[9] In 2020, the bank continued its expansion throughout southern California, opening new offices in Newport Beach, Woodland Hills, and Ontario.[10]


Signature Bank offers business and personal banking products and services. Its specialty finance subsidiary, Signature Financial, provides equipment finance and leasing. Signature Securities Group Corporation, a wholly owned bank subsidiary, is a licensed broker-dealer, investment adviser and member of FINRA and SIPC, offering investment, brokerage, asset management and insurance products and services.[11]

Signature Bank's Fund Banking Division was created in 2018 to provide financing and banking services to the private equity industry.[12] The Venture Banking Group, which was formed in early 2019, serves venture capital firms and the portfolio companies in which they invest.[13] The Specialized Mortgage Banking Solutions team, whose focus is on servicing commercial and residential mortgage servicers among other related companies, launched in July 2019.[14]


It has been dubbed "NY's most successful bank" by Crain's New York Business[15] and was ranked as the Best Business Bank, Best Private Bank and Best Attorney Escrow Services provider by the readers of The New York Law Journal in the publication's 2018 survey for the third consecutive year; it was also awarded second place in the Best Private Bank category.[16] In 2015, Forbes ranked the bank as No. 1 in its America's Best & Worst Banks evaluation.[17] Forbes' 2016 ranking of it as No. 6 marked the sixth consecutive year that the bank was among the Forbes top ten.[18]

Community involvement[edit]

In 2018, the bank's Signature Bank Building Improvement Initiative awarded grants totaling $500,000 to community-based not-for-profits to provide funds to improve housing conditions for those living in low-income housing apartments in New York. Each recipient received $100,000 to be used towards their respective buildings.[19]


Chinacast Education Corporation v. Signature Bank[edit]

Chinacast Education Corporation filed a $35,000,000 lawsuit against Signature for fraud, money laundering, and failing to stop transfers of money to a fictitious investment holding company in the British Virgin Islands with no legitimate business purpose.[20][21][22] Approximately 3 months after the case was opened, Chinacast Education Corporation dropped the case against the three banks named in the lawsuit – Signature Bank, Bank of China, and HSBC Bank. A voluntary dismissal was approved by Judge Swain and the cases against both Signature Bank and Bank of China were dismissed with prejudice.[23]

West End Financial Advisors LLC Ponzi scheme[edit]

In early 2016, some investors filed suit against Signature after the company lost $66 million of investor cash in a Ponzi scheme run by William Landberg, a money manager who pleaded guilty to the crime.[24] They alleged that Signature helped Landberg by ordering him to shift money around dozens of accounts to cover up long-term overdrafts. Landberg was sentenced to three and a half years in federal prison.[25]

Relationship with Trump family[edit]

On July 13, 2018, The New York Times featured a full-length article on Signature Bank being the "go-to bank" to Donald Trump and the Trump family. The bank helped finance Trump's Florida golf course.[26] President Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump served on Signature Bank's board of directors between 2011 and 2013, before stepping down on April 24, 2013.[27] Over the past decade, the bank provided loans to people connected with the Trump Organization while Ivanka Trump sat on its board of directors.[28]

On January 11, 2021, the bank closed two of Trump's personal accounts containing $5.3 million and called for Trump to resign from office in the aftermath of the 2021 storming of the United States Capitol, citing "the best interests of our nation and the American people."[29]

Tenant harassment[edit]

Signature Bank has been the center of numerous protests due to mistreatment of tenants by landlords who receive loans from the bank.[30][31] Despite these accusations, the Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development has applauded the bank's commitment to responsible lending practices as it pertains to low and middle income tenants.[32]

Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act[edit]

Barney Frank, both a former U.S. congressman (1981–2013) and a member of Signature Bank's board of directors (2015 – Present),[33] voted in favor of raising the Dodd/Frank threshold. He's also gone on record stating “My being on the board has not changed my position on this at all. These efforts began well before I began at Signature Bank.”[34]

Signature Bank has provided financial support for re-election races to a number of US Senators for their support of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act, according to Federal Election Commission data tallied by the Center for Responsive Politics. This bill exempted Signature Bank from post-crisis oversight rules. “We find it ridiculous and unacceptable that by virtue of … growing one day past $50bn, we will be burdened with rules intended for the mega 'too big to fail' banks,” Scott Shay, chairman of Signature, said.[35]


  1. ^ a b c Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ "Private Client Offices | Signature Bank". Retrieved August 11, 2020.
  4. ^ "Navigating The Future" (PDF).
  5. ^ Ensign, Rachel Louise. "The Only Bank This Hip-Hop Mogul Will Use". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved November 13, 2018.
  6. ^ "Form 10Q Quarterly Report". FDIC. Retrieved September 1, 2021.
  7. ^ York, Banking New. "Signature Bank: Relationships Matter". Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  8. ^ Gelsi, Steve. "Signature Bank makes its mark". MarketWatch. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  9. ^ "Signature Bank Appoints Two Teams to Its New San Francisco Banking Office". Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  10. ^ "Signature Bank to Open Office in Warner Center | San Fernando Valley Business Journal". Retrieved August 11, 2020.
  11. ^ "The Only Bank This Hip-Hop Mogul Will Use". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved May 11, 2016.
  12. ^ "Signature Bank Expands Its Fund Banking Division and Venture Banking Group With Appointment of New Banking Professionals". June 25, 2019. Retrieved August 11, 2020.
  13. ^ "Square 1 vet Mara Huntington reveals reasons for jumping ship to form new venture group | WRAL TechWire". April 26, 2019. Retrieved August 11, 2020.
  14. ^ "Signature Bank Establishes Mortgage Servicing Banking Initiative With Appointment of New Team; Also Adds Fifth Private Client Banking Team to San Francisco Office". July 9, 2019. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  15. ^ Elstein, Aaron (April 28, 2014). "New York's most successful bank". Crain Communications.
  16. ^ "The New York Law Journal – Best of 2018". Retrieved December 18, 2016.
  17. ^ Badenhausen, Kurt (December 22, 2014). "America's Best And Worst Banks 2015". Forbes.
  18. ^ Badenhausen, Kurt (January 7, 2016). "America's Best Banks 2016". Forbes.
  19. ^ "Signature Bank provides building rehab grant to Banana Kelly". Bronx Times. Retrieved January 9, 2019.
  20. ^ Zanki, Tom. "Signature Bank Wants Out Of Chinacast Suit Over $35M Theft – Law360". Retrieved December 19, 2018.
  21. ^ "Chinacast Education Corporation v. Signature Bank et al". Justia Dockets & Filings. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
  22. ^ "Chinese company sues banks for negligence in former CEO's alleged..." Reuters. December 9, 2015. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
  23. ^ Zanki, Tom. "Chinacast Drops Litigation Against Banks Over $35M Theft – Law360". Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  24. ^ Vanderford, Richard (March 30, 2012). "SEC Wants Up To $13M In Fraud Case Against West End Exec". Law360.
  25. ^ Moyer, Liz (February 23, 2016). "Signature Bank Sued Over Connection to Ponzi Schem". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331.
  26. ^ Flitter, Emily; Drucker, Jesse (July 23, 2018). "How a Small Bank Became a Go-To Lender to the Trump Family". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 17, 2018.
  27. ^ "Ivanka Trump Leaves Signature Bank's Board". American Banker. Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  28. ^ "8 banks entangled in Trump-related probes". American Banker. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
  29. ^ Alexander, Sophie; Basak, Sonali (January 11, 2021). "Trump's Long-Favored Banks Pull Back Amid Fallout From Riot". Bloomberg. Retrieved January 12, 2021.
  30. ^ "Local Tenants and Activists Demand Changes in Signature Bank's Lending Practices".
  31. ^ Bockmann, Rich (August 30, 2017). "Banks say they were totally blindsided by Public Advocate's "worst landlords" list". The Real Deal New York.
  32. ^ "ANHD Applauds Signature Bank's Newly Released Commitment to Best Practices for Multifamily Real Estate Lending". Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development. August 30, 2018. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
  33. ^ "Barney Frank | Directors". Signature Bank. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
  34. ^ "A lot of people heard what Barney Frank said about the new banking law. Few knew he works for a bank". Washington Post. Retrieved January 8, 2019.
  35. ^ "Subscribe to read". Financial Times. Retrieved January 10, 2019. Cite uses generic title (help)

External links[edit]