GOP Merger-Process Bill Set to Advance

At today’s HFSC Financial Institutions Subcommittee hearing on bank mergers, Democrats said that larger mergers pose numerous risks while Republicans criticized the application-and-approval process as opaque and time-consuming.  However, Rep. Casten (D-IL) said that GSIB organic growth outstrips that of even large regional banks, meaning that a halt on bank mergers could accelerate banking-system concentration.  Subcommittee Chair Barr (R-KY) referenced a comment from BofA’s CEO at the GSIB hearing that a super-regional, Truist, was more of a competitive threat than the banks which preceded it.  Chair Barr referenced his bill, H.R. 7403, to revise the merger process, a bill likely now being prepared for HFSC mark-up.  Democrats also targeted specific mergers, with Reps. Sherman (D-CA) and Waters (D-CA) focusing on Capital One/Discover and Rep. Beatty (D-OH) criticizing UMB/Heartland.