Regulatory reform signals potential spike in M&A activity involving US financial institutions

On March 14, 2018, the US Senate voted (67-31) to advance S. 2155, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (the Bill). The Bill, which will only become law with approval from the House and Congress, marks an unprecedented, bipartisan compromise to ease banking rules enacted following the 2008-09 financial crisis. If enacted, there may soon be good reason to anticipate a spike in M&A activity among mid-sized US financial institutions, including a possible increase in cross-border M&A activity involving Canadian institutions. Proposed changes: an overview Under current law, financial institutions with $50 billion or more in assets are considered “systematically important financial institutions” (SIFIs). SIFIs are considered to be firms that would pose a serious risk to the economy in the event of their collapse and, as a result, are subject to stricter federal oversight. For example, SIFIs are required to maintain…

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