PacWest Bancorp's pending purchase of CapitalSource has been pushed back as the deal awaits approval from the Federal Reserve Board.

PacWest (PACW) and CapitalSource (CSE), both based in Los Angeles, said in a press release Tuesday that the Fed is the last regulator it needs to bless their merger. The companies said they now expect to miss their previously announced April 1 closing date because of the delay.

The companies said they expect to receive Fed approval "in the near term." The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the California Department of Business Oversight have already signed off on the $2.3 billion merger.

Community activists have sought to delay the deal, arguing that PacWest lacks CapitalSource's dedication to serving community needs. PacWest received a "low satisfactory" rating for each of the lending, investment and service tests in its Community Reinvestment Act evaluation, according to a report from the FDIC.

"It appears that CRA activities aren't a priority for PacWest, which is why we're urging the FDIC and Federal Reserve to seek community input and make their approval contingent on a plan for the bank to improve its CRA activities," Sharon Kinlaw, interim director of the Fair Housing Council of San Fernando Valley, said in October.

PacWest would have more than $15 billion in assets if it completes the acquisition, which would make it California's eighth-biggest bank.

The companies said they will announce a new closing date after the deal receives Fed approval.

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