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Fed Approves Wells Fargo Takeover of Crocker Bank

Associated Press

The Federal Reserve Board announced approval today for Wells Fargo & Co. to take over Crocker National Corp., a $1.07-billion acquisition that would make Wells Fargo the 10th-largest bank holding company in the country.

Both banks have their headquarters in San Francisco. Wells Fargo is the nation’s 13th largest bank holding company; Crocker National is the 25th largest.

Wells Fargo, with $29.4 billion in assets, is the parent of Wells Fargo Bank, the 10th-biggest in the United States. The acquisition of Crocker would make Wells Fargo the second-biggest bank in California behind Bank of America.

The Federal Reserve Board’s approval, which was necessary before the merger could go through, came on a 5-0 vote.

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The board said it was granting approval for the acquisition even though it would mean that California’s third- and fifth-largest banks would be merging, creating a bank that will control 16.8% of the state’s total bank deposits.

Britain’s Midland Bank PLC on Feb. 7 announced it had agreed to sell its 100% interest in Crocker National Corp. to Wells Fargo.

Midland, one of Britain’s four largest commercial banks, first bought a stake in the financially troubled Crocker National in 1981. Midland took full control of the company in May, 1985, by purchasing $400 million in domestic assets and about $3.1 billion in foreign loans.

Midland’s shareholders approved the sale last Wednesday. Wells Fargo said it didn’t need the approval of its shareholders to complete the merger.

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