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Capital One Should Discover Merger Dead As Inner City Press FOIAs Fed Barr Talks Basel 3

by Matthew R. Lee

SOUTH BRONX, April 3 – Capital One has applied to buy Discover, in an anticompetitive deal that should be rejected by regulators if they mean what they have been saying. While they applied late March 20, as of 1 pm on March 22 there was no notice of the Federal Reserve's or OCC's websites. Inner City Press submitted second FOIA requests to each agency. Public hearings should be held, not only on antitrust but also lending disparities at both companies. 

  While the OCC has yet to provide some records requested under FOIA, it put its application in its reading room. And it is an outrage, Capital One gaming the CRA system. For example "the Proposed Transaction would result in CONA establishing a new assessment area in  Delaware, which will include all census tracts in Sussex County and seven contiguous census  tracts in Kent County."

That for a nationwide card and subprime auto lender...

  Still no records from the Fed, so this:

This is a FOIA request for the entirety of Capital One's applications for regulatory approval of its Discover proposal, including all portions for which Capital One has requested confidential treatment, and all communications by your agency with the banks since February 19. As of March 22 at 1 am, the Fed's most recent H2A is from March 15

 As documented by Fair Finance Watch, Discover Bank in 2022 denied mortgage loans application from African Americans more than twice as frequently as those of whites. 

  Previously, Inner City Press and NCRC challenged Capital One's acquisition of ING Direct, see here.This time, given the antitrust enforcement claims being made in DC, this proposal should be dead in the water.

Barr in DC by Matthew Russell Lee

On April 3 speaking at NCRC's Just Economy conference (above) Barr said the Fed will not follow the OCC and FDIC with merger processing reform proposals; then he walked Basel III endgame but not explanation why the Fed can't or won't give Capital One documents requested on Feb 19, as to which they purported to grant expedited processing. Watch this site. 


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