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OCC reopens comment period on Capital One acquisition

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency announced on Monday that it would reopen the comment period for Capitol One Financial’s takeover of HSBC’s U.S. credit card business.

The public has until Dec. 19 to comment on the $2.6 billion deal, according to Reuters.com.

Consumer groups are putting pressure on the OCC to prohibit Capitol One from acquiring HSBC’s $30 billion credit card portfolio.

"I don't think anybody at the OCC wants to have their name all over the approval of an application that is followed a year or two later by the fifth largest bank (by assets) failing because the credit card market crashes," John Taylor, the president of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, said, Reuters.com reports.

Capital One, however, remains optimistic about the deal.

"Our history clearly demonstrates that our customers and local communities will see numerous benefits from this acquisition," Tatiana Snead, a spokeswoman for Capital One, said, according to Reuters.com. "We appreciate the OCC providing an additional opportunity for any interested parties to express their views."

Last year’s Dodd-Frank Act requires financial regulators such as the Federal Reserve and the OCC to consider systemic risk when evaluating a merger. Many observers view Capital One’s expansion effort as a test case for how regulators will handle big-bank mergers after the 2008 financial crisis.
 

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