But Kevin Mukri, a spokesman for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which regulates national banks, says the regulator's standards haven't changed as a result of the crisis.
"We haven't tightened or loosened any of the standards," Mukri says, adding that in terms of time lapses between deal announcements and closings, "we're pretty quick on it," so long as the OCC is able to verify the capital requirements needed.
The OCC also encourages interested parties looking to start or buy a bank to undertake a discussion with the regulator beforehand to give a sort of heads up, he adds.
"We have not seen any inordinate delays on our end in approving ... on proposed deals," says William Ruberry, a spokesman for the Office of Thrift Supervision. "What we have seen is that there are fewer applications that have come our way," especially for new institutions.A spokesman for the FDIC did not immediately comment. In the case of Sterling, the lack of quick regulatory approval ended up being a blessing in disguise, analysts say. Oppenheimer analyst Terry McEvoy notes that Sterling's credit quality deteriorated since it announced the deal and that it had to restate third-quarter results in November, which clearly put pressure on its capital levels, he says. Analysts were concerned that Sterling would have had to raise common equity in order to get the deal done, despite successfully repurchasing preferred stock owned by the U.S. government last year, which may or may not have been received well after Bank of America (BAC), Wells Fargo (WFC) and Citigroup (C) each completed large common equity offerings in late 2009.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV