CRL urges bank to address concerns raised in merger review
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, TD Bank and First Horizon Bank announced the termination of their merger agreement, citing uncertainty about the timetable to obtain regulatory approvals. The Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) along with civil rights and consumer group partners had urged the Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) to withhold approval given systemic risks, harms of increased consolidation, and TD’s poor treatment of customers. A separate letter urged the OCC to not sign off on merger plans from banks with abusive overdraft practices, which disproportionately hurt Black, Latino, and low-income communities.
“The OCC and Federal Reserve demonstrated they would not rubber stamp this merger bid without considering the public interest,” said CRL President Mike Calhoun. “Regulators deserve credit for not granting an expansion of TD Bank’s problematic operations, which includes an overdraft program that hammers financially vulnerable consumers with costly fees. This announcement presents an opportunity for TD to turn over a new leaf and treat its customers more fairly.”
TD Bank can charge over $100 a day in overdraft fees on its U.S. customers, but in Canada, the bank charges customers no more than five Canadian dollars (around $3.70) a day.
Calhoun added, “Regulators should take additional steps to protect consumers from exorbitant overdraft fees. Recent experience shows banks won’t police themselves.”
The Bank Merger Act requires assessment of mergers based on competition, safety and soundness, convenience and needs of the community to be served, and the financial stability of the banking system.
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