Builders Bank Update: NYLIB Submits Additional Authority Supporting Option to Challenge “CAMELS” Ratings in Federal Court


On October 23, 2017, the court in Builders Bank v. FDIC granted the New York League of Independent Bankers ("NYLIB") approval to file additional authority in support of its September 13, 2017 friend-of-the-court brief.

The case concerns whether the federal financial regulatory agencies' "CAMELS" ratings are reviewable in federal court. The FDIC's position, expressed in its July 2017 comments to its intra-agency appeals guidelines, is that CAMELS ratings are never reviewable by the federal courts because there is no meaningful source of law to apply to review the FDIC's exercise of discretion in assessing the ratings.  

NYLIB's motion points out that a sister agency, the National Credit Union Administration ("NCUA"), has put forth a contradictory view of the appealability of CAMELS ratings (or in the NCUA's case, "CAMEL" ratings).  In a May 2017 intra-agency appeal decision, the NCUA Board explicitly acknowledged that its decisions upholding CAMEL ratings after an intra-agency appeal are reviewable by the federal courts. NYLIB submitted the NCUA Board decision to the Builders Bank court as additional, persuasive authority supporting its position that there in fact are standards by which the federal courts may review CAMELS ratings.