Today, 29 groups called on federal bank regulators to finally draft a plan to strengthen the merger guidelines to mitigate the adverse effects of bank consolidation, which include increased evictions, higher rates of debt collection, and decreased access to credit for consumers and businesses.
The federal authorities should halt all bank merger approvals until they strengthen the outdated guidelines that govern whether financial institutions can combine, according to a letter delivered today by 30 public interest organizations.
Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund submitted a comment letter asking the Department of Justice to protect the public interest from ever larger banks exercising market power to impose higher costs on consumers, reduce the volume or quality of banking services, and from becoming so large that they pose a risk to the entire financial system and real economy.
Amid growing concern about corporate consolidation, the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) and Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund are leading a letter calling for the Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) to reject a proposed merger between TD Bank and First Horizon Bank.
AFREF led a letter to regulators stating that the laissez-faire stance adopted by the Department of Justice and the federal bank regulators and current merger guidelines have hurt small businesses, community banks, and households, especially those in BIPOC communities. The letter urges regulators to temporarily halt consideration of pending bank mergers until the DOJ and banking agencies adopt a plan that strengthens the guidelines to protect consumers.
Americans for Financial Reform welcomes the FDIC’s action on reviewing bank mergers. In the last 15 years, the federal bank regulators have rubber-stamped merger applications. This has led to unprecedented consolidation in the industry which has hurt consumers and small businesses, in the form of bank deserts and decreased lending to small businesses while lining the pockets of the banking executives. We look forward to commenting on ways to strengthen the bank merger guidelines to protect the interest of the communities they are supposed to serve.
The Department of Justice upheld the rule of law in its recently published opinion on the ability of the chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to block votes sought by the majority of its board.
Wall Street watchdog demands Fed transparency in SVB review 03/23/23, Politico — Morning Money Child care costs rising with more private equity firm investments 03/23/23, Scripps News After Silicon Valley Bank Collapse, Sanders Introduces Legislation to Prevent Big Bank Executives from Serving on Federal Reserve
Private equity funds could access government assistance for their portfolio companies while avoiding any responsibility to repay any debt or obligations to the public purse. Private equity firms could also tap government aid to finance leveraged buyout purchases of additional companies, using public money to load target companies with debt and drain their assets while avoiding any responsibility for paying that debt back.