Royal Bank of Canada has received approval from the Federal Reserve Board to buy City National in Los Angeles.
The Fed's approval, issued Thursday, was the final regulatory approval needed, said Tanis Feasby, an RBC spokesperson. The approval came about 10 months after RBC agreed to pay about $5.4 billion for the $34 billion-asset City National. The deal will allow the $832 billion-asset RBC to regain significant scale in the U.S. retail banking market. (RBC sold most of its U.S. retail operations to PNC Financial Services Group in 2012.)
City National shareholders approved the sale in May.
The companies said in a press release last month that they expected the deal to close around early November.
An ad hoc group of religious and community organizations in California had protested the deal, claiming that the banks had a weak plan for lending to minorities, women and other groups. But RBC executives held talks with the group, and the activist coalition later dropped its opposition.
The Fed disclosed that "many" of the 15 groups that submitted comment letters objecting to the deal either withdrew their letters or ended up backing the acquisition. One dissenter pointed to RBC's 2012 scale back as evidence that the company had previously been unsuccessful in the United States. The Fed, for its part, brushed off that criticism, noting that RBC was still well-capitalized and well-managed.
Paul Davis contributed to this article.