Fleet Financial Group cleared a final hurdle Thursday in its $16 billion acquisition of BankBoston Corp., winning approval from Massachusetts banking regulators. The deal is set to close today.
Also Thursday, Connecticut's attorney general dropped threats to block the merger with an antitrust suit after Fleet agreed to sell seven more branches in Connecticut with $253 million in deposits. Fleet also agreed to commit $2.9 billion over five years to community reinvestment programs, an increase of $700 million from its previous pledge. In addition, two more Connecticut branches originally slated for sale to Sovereign Bancorp, Wyomissing, Pa., will be sold to a minority-owned bank.
To allay antitrust concerns, Fleet and BankBoston agreed last month to sell 278 branches and $12 billion in deposits to Sovereign. Another 28 branches and $810 million in deposits was divvied up among several Massachusetts community banks.
-- Liz Moyer