after federal and state banking regulators said last week they wouldn’t try to block the $31.1 billion deal.
According to Associated Press reports, the regulators' move was a result of a promise by Citigroup in early November to strengthen its consumer safeguards, especially for home equity loans and other loans secured by real estate, as part of its plans to acquire Associates.
Several community and activist groups have criticized lending practices at Associates, whose business includes high-interest loans to borrowers with inferior credit records.
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which is the Treasury Department division that oversees nationally chartered banks, and the New York State Banking Department also announced their approval, AP reported. Zamorski said the FDIC had investigated the integrity of Citigroup and found no reason to block the acquisition.
Citigroup has said the combined consumer finance operations of the two companies will be the largest in the United States.