Acting Comptroller of the Currency Michael Hsu said he has directed senior OCC staff to work with the Justice Department and other agencies to review federal frameworks for bank mergers.

Remarks: Hsu said:

  • Agencies should rethink how they apply the statutory factors guiding merger analysis: competitiveness, safety and soundness, community needs, and financial stability.

  • Without enhancements, there is an increased risk of approving mergers that diminish competition, hurt communities, or present systemic risks.

  • There is a resolvability gap for large regional banks that should be addressed to avoid creating a new set of too-big-to-fail firms.

  • He supports proposals for a more granular analysis that differentiates by types of lending, considers broader industry dynamics, and considers local, regional, and national markets.

DOJ Initiative: ICBA recently called on the Justice Department to revise its policies on bank mergers to better address too-big-to-fail financial institutions and nonbank competitors, including credit unions.