Bloomberg News

Bernanke Says Fed Looking at Ways to Speed Up Merger Reviews

November 15, 2011

Nov. 15 (Bloomberg) -- The Federal Reserve is looking for ways to speed up its review of bank mergers, Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said today.

The Fed chairman said the U.S. central bank has “commissioned an internal review” of its processes for reviewing applications and notices for mergers and other acquisitions.

“This review is intended to help us find ways to reduce the inefficiencies and delays in that process,” Bernanke said in a Nov. 8 letter to Cass Sunstein, the administrator at the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the White House’s Office of Management and Budget.

“Steps we can take to more efficiently inform the industry of our standards for reviewing expansion proposals and reach a conclusion on those proposals will increase certainty and reduce burden for depository organizations,” Bernanke said in the letter released on the Fed’s website.

Bernanke said the letter was a follow-up to a conversation he and Fed Governor Daniel Tarullo had with Sunstein about reducing regulatory burdens on banks.

The Fed chairman said the central bank continues to “believe that our regulatory efforts should be designed to minimize regulatory burden consistent with the effective implementation of our statutory responsibilities.”

--Editors: Chris Wellisz, Gail DeGeorge

To contact the reporters on this story: Craig Torres in Washington at ctorres3@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Wellisz at cwellisz@bloomberg.net


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