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Monday, November 14, 2011 09:58 AM

National Community Reinvestment Coalition Opposes Capital One Acquisition of HSBC’s Credit Card Unit

Over a dozen consumer and civil rights groups ask OCC for extension of comment period and public hearings

Washington, DC -- The National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) today announced its opposition to the Capital One acquisition of HSBC's U.S. credit card business. Over a dozen national consumer and civil rights groups wrote to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) expressing concern and asking for an extension of the comment period as well as public hearings.

"As people across the country protest the damage Wall Street has caused our economy, the next too-big-to-fail and the most-likely-to-fail bank is taking form before our eyes. It would be a mistake for the regulators to rubber stamp Capital One's acquisition of HSBC's credit card unit, given the monoline and risky nature of their credit card business. This acquisition poses a threat to taxpayers, and raises serious antitrust and systemic risk concerns," said John Taylor, president & CEO of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition.

"The American people also deserve a thorough review of the potential impact of this purchase to ensure that the process instills confidence in the U.S. financial system by consumers, investors and institutions around the world, and will not dampen prospects for a strong economic recovery. So far, the regulatory process has left something to be desired," said Taylor.

The acquisition, which faces regulatory approval from the OCC, follows on the heels of Capital One's announced acquisition of ING Direct, which faces ongoing regulatory scrutiny at the Federal Reserve. Hundreds of organizations testified or submitted comments in opposition to the acquisition of ING Direct at hearings held by the Federal Reserve in Washington, DC, Chicago and San Francisco.

About the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC):
The National Community Reinvestment Coalition is an association of more than 600 community-based organizations that promote access to basic banking services, including credit and savings, to create and sustain affordable housing, job development, and vibrant communities for America's working families.  

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