Bank Analyst Bove Sued Over 'Who Is Next' Report

Richard Bove, a prominent U.S. banking analyst, was sued Monday by BankAtlantic Bancorp, which accused him of defamation and negligence over a recently published research report, the bank said.

The bank said the lawsuit, filed in a state court in Broward County, Florida, pertained to a report Bove wrote titled "Who Is Next?" The report is dated July 13, two days after federal regulators seized IndyMac Bancorp, a large mortgage lending specialist.

Alan Levan, BankAtlantic's chairman, said in a statement BankAtlantic's

financial condition shows that the bank does not belong on any list of which lenders might be "next" to fail.

Bove has been advised not to comment on the advice of counsel, an assistant for the analyst said.

A spokesman for Bove's employer, Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services, said: "We will defend ourselves against this meritless lawsuit."

A copy of the complaint was not immediately available. BankAtlantic did not immediately return several requests for further comment.