The Bancorp (TBBK)

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Portnoy Law Firm
Lesley F. Portnoy, Esq.,
Office: 310.692.8883
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On March 21, 2024, The Bancorp’s stock experienced a significant drop following allegations by activist short seller Culper Research against the bank holding company. Culper accused The Bancorp (TBBK) of misrepresenting the quality of its real estate bridge loan (REBL) portfolio and claimed that the bank’s loss reserves were significantly insufficient. These allegations prompted Hagens Berman, a prominent law firm specializing in investors’ rights, to initiate an investigation into potential violations of securities laws.

Culper Research’s report, titled “The Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ: TBBK): Bridge to Nowhere,” draws from an extensive review that included analyzing individual loans, visiting 21 TBBK-funded properties, and engaging in discussions with former TBBK employees and borrowers. One critical example highlighted by Culper involves a $39.4 million REBL loan for a Texas apartment complex, which, despite having not received interest payments for three months and being only 47% occupied, had no reserves set against it by TBBK.

Culper criticized The Bancorp for engaging with inexperienced syndicated borrowers driven by quick profit motives, who have failed to achieve their investment objectives due to soaring costs, high vacancies, stagnant rent levels, and surging interest rates. According to Culper, TBBK’s reserve of $4.7 million, or merely 0.24% of its REBL portfolio, is grossly inadequate.

Moreover, Culper’s discussions with a former TBBK REBL underwriter suggested that the company’s actual losses could be 10 to 15 times higher than the reserves currently allocated. Following these revelations, TBBK shares fell by approximately 10%, decreasing by $3.63 on March 21, 2024.