Congressional critics of the agencies reviewing bank mergers have in recent months claimed that those agencies “rubber stamp” mergers and that merger review standards relating to antitrust are too lax. We believe those critics are misinformed.
Bank mergers are among the most regulated in the economy. The Federal Reserve Board (the “Fed”) has extraordinary, virtually carte-blanche power in approving or denying bank holding company mergers (as do the OCC and FDIC with respect to bank mergers), reviewable only by a federal appeals court and under a highly deferential standard of review. Their determinations, especially with respect to … Read more