Published: December 2021

Feds should halt bank mergers until guidelines are strengthened

The federal authorities should halt all bank merger approvals until they strengthen the outdated guidelines that govern whether financial institutions can combine, according to a letter delivered by 30 public interest organizations. Advocates outlined the harmful effects—including more evictions, increasing rates of debts in collection, and fewer loans supporting economic development—that bank consolidation has had on consumers and small businesses, especially in communities of color.

Consumer Action joined a coalition group of financial reformers, anti-monopoly activists, labor unions, racial justice groups, small businesses and other consumer advocates in sending a letter to the Department of Justice and federal bank regulators. In the letter, the coalition calls for the federal agencies to adopt a plan that strengthens the Bank Merger Competitive Review Guidelines overseen by the Department of Justice to better protect consumers and financial stability before the agencies resume their consideration of new mergers, including the proposed combination of U.S. Bancorp and MUFG Union Bank. If these mergers are indeed good for consumers and small businesses, they can withstand the scrutiny of tougher guidelines. 

Lead Organization

Americans for Financial Reform (AFR)

Other Organizations

20/20 Vision DC | Action Center on Race & the Economy (ACRE) | AFL-CIO | American Economic Liberties Project | Americans for Financial Reform Ed Fund | Better Markets | Committee for Better Banks | Consumer Action | Consumer Federation of America | Delaware Community Reinvestment Action Council, Inc. | Demand Progress | Earth Ethics, Inc. | Florida Consumer Action Network Foundation | Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy | Institute for Local Self Reliance | Liberation in a Generation | Main Street Alliance | MHANY Management Inc. | Mountain State Justice | National Consumer Law Center (on behalf of its low-income clients) | National Fair Housing Alliance | New Jersey Citizen Action | Open Markets Institute | Public Citizen | Revolving Door Project | SC Appleseed Legal Justice Center | Texas Appleseed | U.S. PIRG | VOICE (Voters Organized In Civic Engagement)OKC | Womxn from the Mountain | Woodstock Institute

More Information

Click here for more information.

Click here to read the letter in full.


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