Luetkemeyer Delivers Opening Statement on Proposed Bank Merger
Washington, July 24, 2019
Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions, delivered the following opening statement at a full committee hearing to examine the proposed merger of SunTrust and BB&T banks:
From Main Street to Wall Street, the success of our economy is driven by economic freedom. The foundation of the American Dream is the idea that a free market economy will allow entrepreneurs, business and workers to succeed.
Over the last decade, increased regulation in the financial services industry has cultivated an environment where the survival of a financial institution is intrinsically tied to its size. Banks across the nation have struggled under the weight of overregulation, causing a major consolidation in the industry.
Today, we are hearing from two private companies who have announced their intention to merge through the prescribed legal and regulatory process, which was most recently amended by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act.
We have an important role in overseeing the federal banking agencies’ evaluation of the proposed merger. However, size is a not a legally disqualifying characteristic for bank mergers, nor a reason to villainize two companies following the merger process.
It is the job of this Committee to ensure the proposed merger is thoughtfully and thoroughly reviewed in accordance with current law. I would caution my colleagues against judging these two institutions based on any factors outside of the legal process, and instead ensure these institutions comply with all of the requirements set forth by Congress and the regulators examining this merger.