News Release: Broad Coalition Of Advocacy Groups Urge Regulators To Block Capital One-Discover Deal In Joint Letter


March 6, 2024

Alan Pyke, NCRC:;
Jimmy Wyderko, AELP:
David Rosen, Public Citizen:
Carter Dougherty, AFR: 

Broad Coalition Of Advocacy Groups Urge Regulators To Block Capital One-Discover Deal In Joint Letter 

WASHINGTON, DC — Capital One should not be allowed to buy Discover, 22 advocacy groups said Tuesday in a letter to banking regulators and antitrust officials.

“The scale and scope of harms represented by this transaction are enormous,” the American Economic Liberties Project (AELP), the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC), Public Citizen and Americans for Financial Reform and 18 other signers wrote in the letter. “The threat is grave, not just to the dynamism of the economy and the stability and competitiveness of the financial services sector, but to American businesses and the health of consumers across the country. Bank regulators, and, if necessary, the Justice Department, must deny it.”

The letter spells out the proposed merger’s harmful impacts on working Americans, businesses, and the economy, as well as the many ways in which the deal violates antitrust law, the Bank Merger Act, and the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). It also recounts Capital One’s serious breaches of law and exploitations of lower-income customers in recent years. 22 advocacy organizations co-signed the letter.

“This takeover would turn Capital One into a behemoth of a credit card issuer that would be highly susceptible to a financial shock,” said Alexa Philo, senior policy analyst at Americans for Financial Reform. “There are lots of reasons not to approve this merger. The threat to financial stability is one of them.”

“Capital One’s acquisition of Discover is dangerous, illegal, and must be stopped,” said Shahid Naeem, Senior Policy Analyst at the American Economic Liberties Project. “Vague claims that the merger will benefit competition in payment networks are a Trojan Horse concealing the merger’s real goals: higher interchange fees, more costly credit cards, and a surge in size connoting an implicit too-big-to-fail government backstop. It might be lucrative for Capital One, but everyone else will pay.”

“Capital One is a notorious bad actor even at its current size and should not be allowed to further concentrate market power,” said Jesse Van Tol, President and CEO of NCRC. “This deal would be bad for marginalized communities, bad for credit card holders and bad for financial markets. Far from clearing the legal requirement that bank mergers must benefit the public, this proposed acquisition would only be good for Capital One insiders. Regulators should therefore reject the deal.”

“This merger would create the sixth largest bank in the United States,” said Bartlett Naylor, financial policy advocate for Public Citizen. “We learned from the 2008 financial crash that when such behemoths falter, the government uses taxpayer dollars to bail them out. Just last year, the government rescued far smaller regional banks, such as Silicon Valley Bank. Capital One focuses on subprime lending, dry kindling for another financial fire.”

The following organizations signed the letter:

American Economic Liberties Project
American Family Voices
Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund
Center for Digital Democracy
Demand Progress Education Fund
Freedom BLOC
Institute for Local Self-Reliance
Main Street Alliance
National Community Reinvestment Coalition
New Economy Project
Open Markets Institute
P Street
Public Citizen
Revolving Door Project
Rise Economy (formerly California Reinvestment Coalition)
The Value Alliance
20/20 Vision


About the National Community Reinvestment Coalition:
The National Community Reinvestment Coalition is a network of organizations and individuals dedicated to creating a nation that not only promises but delivers opportunities for all Americans to build wealth and live well. Learn more at

About the American Economic Liberties Project:
The American Economic Liberties Project works to ensure America’s system of commerce is structured to advance, rather than undermine, economic liberty, fair commerce, and a secure, inclusive democracy.

About Public Citizen:
Public Citizen is a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization that champions the public interest in the halls of power. We defend democracy, resist corporate power, and fight to ensure that our government works for the people – not big corporations. Learn more at

About Americans for Financial Reform:
Americans for Financial Reform is a nonpartisan and nonprofit coalition of more than 200 civil rights, consumer, labor, business, investor, faith-based, and civic and community groups. Formed in the wake of the 2008 crisis, we are working to lay the foundation for a strong, stable, and ethical financial system – one that serves the economy and the nation as a whole.