Revitalizing bank merger review


March 21, 2024, 1:30 PM to 2:45 PM EDT
PIIE Webcast, Washington, DC

Rohit Chopra (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation), Jonathan Kanter (Antitrust Division, US Department of Justice) and Esther L. George (Former Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City; PIIE Board of Directors)

Event Summary

The banking sector has experienced significant consolidation over the last four decades. Some evidence suggests that many small businesses, households, and communities have been left worse off in the wake of these transactions due to branch closures, reduced access to capital, higher fees, and fewer choices. This trend has created risks to financial stability, as many “too-big-to-fail” banks grew through multiple acquisitions in the years prior to the 2008 financial crisis. These developments have raised questions regarding the rigor of the government’s review of bank mergers. In 2021, President Biden signed an executive order on promoting competition in the American economy, and since then, the banking agencies and the Department of Justice have been considering updates to the bank merger review framework.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation board member Rohit Chopra outlines his views on ways the banking agencies can bring more rigor to the review of bank mergers to promote competition, financial stability, and the public interest. Jonathan Kanter, assistant attorney general for the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, and Esther L. George, former president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and PIIE board member, join Chopra for a fireside chat on competition in the banking sector.