Republic Bancorp (RBCAA) in Louisville said it is highly unlikely that it will complete its purchase of H&R Block Bank by the end of this year.

The $3.3 billion-asset company had said it hoped to complete the acquisition by Dec. 31 when it agreed in July to buy the bank from H&R Block (HRB).

In a regulatory filing Tuesday, Republic said it would need approval from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency by Sept. 30 to complete the deal in 2013. Republic, which also plans to merge its banks and convert to a national bank, said discussions with the OCC indicate that regulatory approval will not place by the end of this month.

Republic said that, if the H&R Block Bank acquisition is approved between Oct. 1 and March 31, it could complete the purchase between April 30 and June 18.

Separately, the company said it is continuing to make progress in its negotiations with H&R Block over a joint marketing master services agreement and a receivable participation agreement. The marketing services agreement would allow Republic to offer H&R Block-branded financial services to the tax firm's clients.

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