The takeover, announced in June, is one of the first bank mergers to take heat from regulators because of its impact on the larger economy. Under the Dodd-Frank Act, regulators must assess risk when evaluating acquisitions and reject a deal that is likely to negatively affect the economy, the New York Times reports.
When the deal was first proposed last year, it also drew criticism during public hearings when consumer advocates and community bankers claimed that the merger would create another financial giant to the detriment of the U.S. economy. Advocacy groups say that the deal is a taxpayer risk because one-third of Capital One’s credit card portfolio is under a subprime label.
Capital One has high hopes for the acquisition as it goes in front of regulators. Originally, the bank hoped to sign the deal between late last year and early 2012, according to the New York Times. Last month, in an earnings announcement, the institution’s top executives expressed hope that the Fed would rule early on in the year.
If the acquisition is approved, Capital One would become the fifth-largest bank by deposits, up from the number eight slot.
The deal is just one effort in Capital One’s broader plan to expand across the nation. Last year, the bank announced its intention to purchase HSBC’s American credit card business for $2.6 billion, a move that the institution hopes will also garner approval, the New York Times reports.