Shareholders ratified PNC Financial Services Group Inc.'s deal to buy National City Corp. and Wells Fargo & Co.'s deal for Wachovia Corp. last week.

The deals, both set to close at yearend, would give the acquirers a huge boost in retail branches and deposits but plenty of soured mortgages to sort through.

More than 70% of the shareholders at each seller approved their company's deal.

Also Tuesday, Wells said four Wachovia board members would become Wells directors once that deal closes, including Robert Steel, Wachovia's chief executive.

PNC would become the nation's fifth-largest banking company by deposits, with about $180 billion, and it would have more than 2,700 branches. But the $146 billion-asset company also would absorb heavy mortgage-related losses tied to Nat City's ill-timed expansion into national home lending, particularly in Florida.

When it announced its deal in October, PNC said it planned related writedowns of $19.9 billion, or about 17.5% of Nat City's loan book.

Still, James Rohr, PNC's CEO, told shareholders Tuesday that he viewed its $5.6 billion deal as a "transformational" one that would "create a powerful" company able to consistently produce revenue well in excess of expenses.

"We continue to believe this is a very compelling transaction for PNC," Mr. Rohr said.

Acquiring Wachovia would give Wells, long a power in the West and the Midwest, a far-reaching branch operation in the East and the South. It also would get a $122 billion option adjustable-rate mortgage portfolio. Wells has said it expects to take a $40 billion writedown on the portfolio.

At a conference in New York this month, Wells' CEO, John Stumpf, called the nearly $15 billion deal for Wachovia "the best deal I've ever seen."— Kevin Dobbs

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