A bank owned by Ecuadorans and based in Miami claims the Federal Reserve improperly classified it as a foreign bank, forcing it to drop a planned acquisition.

Republic National Bank of Miami squelched its deal to acquire Family Bank of Hallandale, Fla., two weeks ago because the foreign-bank classification would have meant at least a yearlong wait for Federal Reserve approval - about three times as long as domestic banks must wait, said Oscar Bustillo Jr., chief executive of the $1.3 billion-asset bank.

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