California Reinvestment Coalition

Federal Reserve to Hold Hearings on Capital One / ING Merger in San Francisco, Washington and Chicago

Published August 26, 2011 22:58

August 26, 2011—  The Federal Reserve has announced that public hearings will be held regarding the proposed merger between Capital One and ING Direct. The hearings will be held in San Francisco, Chicago and Washington, D.C.

The decision comes after numerous community groups and policymakers submitted comment letters to the Fed regarding the potential negative impacts of the merger. The proposed merger between Capital One and ING Direct would expose taxpayers to the risk of another “too big to fail” institution; the merged bank would be the fifth largest bank in the country.

Californians are particularly concerned about the impact of the merger. Earlier this month, members of the California Reinvestment Coalition submitted over 60 letters to the Federal Reserve requesting hearings to be held in the state. Members of the California Congressional Delegation weighed in on the merger as well. Letters submitted from Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA), and Congressman Bob Filner (D-CA) indicated a shared concern about the lack of California community investments from the bank. Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA), one of the authors of last year’s Dodd-Frank Financial Reform bill, has also voiced his opposition to the merger, citing concerns about the increasing consolidation of the banking sector.

“The Federal Reserve’s decision to hold a hearing in California is incredibly significant for California’s communities,” said Alan Fisher, Executive Director of the California Reinvestment Coalition. “With zero branches and zero community investments, the proposed bank currently has no responsibilities to California’s communities. We need these hearings in order to obtain serious community commitments from the bank.”

The hearings, to be held in Washington, D.C., Chicago, and San Francisco, will solicit information related to whether the acquisition can be expected to produce benefits to the public, such as greater convenience, increased competition, and gains in efficiency, that outweigh possible adverse effects, such as undue concentration of resources, decreased or unfair competition, conflicts of interests, unsound banking practices, and risk to the stability of the U.S. banking or financial system. The Federal Reserve Board will also review the records of performance of the relevant insured depository institutions under the Community Reinvestment Act.

The hearing in San Francisco is scheduled for Wednesday, October 5, 2011, beginning at 8:30 a.m. PDT, at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, 101 Market Street, San Francisco, CA. 

For more information, please contact Alan Fisher at (415) 864-3980; afisher@calreinvest.org.

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The California Reinvestment Coalition advocates for the right of low-income communities and communities of color to have fair and equal access to banking and other financial services. CRC has a membership of almost 300 nonprofit organizations and public agencies across the State.

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CRC has a membership of over 300 nonprofit organizations and public agencies across the State.