Updated from 12:45 p.m. ESTTwo large bank deals received shareholder approvals Tuesday, marking the final nod in what has become one of the most transformative years ever for the banking sector. Early in the day, shareholders of both PNC Financial Services ( PNC) and National City ( NCC) approved a merger between the two banking institutions. Pittsburgh-based PNC said in a press release that both shareholder groups approved the deal by a "substantial margin." The companies expect to close the transaction on Dec. 31.
Wachovia shareholders approved the Wells Fargo merger by approximately 76% of the vote entitled to be cast, the bank said. "We believe our combined company will be a compelling value for Wachovia shareholders -- and today's vote shows they agree," Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf said in a statement. "The actual merger integration of our companies' systems, operations, products and services will be done very thoughtfully and deliberately over the next two to three years. I want to assure all customers of both companies that we'll approach every discussion on the integration and conversion from the standpoint of what's best for our customers." Wachovia has felt mounting pain from the housing meltdown through its 2006 acquisition of Golden West. The company was near failure in late September when Citigroup ( C) agreed to acquire the lender's banking operations, with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. agreeing to take on the majority of risk in Wachovia's loan portfolio. Less than a week later, Wells Fargo put up a better offer that required no federal assistance. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year. Wells also elected four new directors to its board, including Wachovia CEO Robert Steel. Steel, former undersecretary of the Treasury, was chief executive of Wachovia for less than four months before agreeing to a sale.