WASHINGTON — The merger of two government-sponsored enterprise regulators to form the Federal Housing Finance Agency — a year ago this month — offers a cautionary tale as policymakers consider combining banking agencies and creating a new consumer protection supervisor.

Though the new agency was billed as the creation of a "world-class regulator," critics say it is little more than a sum of its parts, and new authorities it was given were granted too late to stave off the collapse of its principal institutions — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

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