The Federal Reserve Board has given Fleet Financial Group permission to acquire the U.S. unit of National Westminster Bank PLC, London, clearing the way for Boston-based Fleet to continue its expansion throughout the Northeast.

The acquisition will make Fleet the 10th-largest banking company in the country, controlling $90 billion of assets and operating 1,200 branches and 2,000 automated teller machines.

"Fleet will serve more than 6.4 million households and touch more communities than any other bank in the Northeast, a strong position we will leverage to provide superior financial resources, convenience, and innovation to meet the needs of our diverse customer base," president Terrence Murphy said.

The Fed's decision Monday dismissed several Community Reinvestment Act protests, noting that most comments had praised Fleet's outreach efforts.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.