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Bank of America Lobbies to End Deposit Cap: WSJ

Bank of America wants U.S. regulators to raise the limit that prevents U.S. banks from making acquisitions that would give any one bank more than 10% of total national deposits, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

The bank argues that that the cap makes U.S. banks artificially small and susceptible to takeovers by foreign banks, the paper said. Bank of America is the only bank close to the limit, with 9% of U.S. deposits, or $584.3 billion.

Bank of America won support from bankers associations in New Hampshire and North Carolina and is lobbying banks in Massachusetts, the Journal said. Community-bank advocates have previously opposed raising the cap, according to the Journal.

The cap is one of the last regulations hampering more consolidation in the banking sector, as lawmakers have steadily repealed laws that have prevented huge banking deals.

The cap came about after the Riegle-Neal Interstate Banking and Branching Efficiency Act of 1994 allowed banks to more freely expand into multiple states, the Journal reported. Congress approved the 10% limit to satisfy opponents of the act.

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