An independent bank crusade has taken up the cause against unfair competition that he believes was created by First Bank System's recent acquisition of Bank Shares Inc. and its Minneapolis subsidiary.

Norbert A. McCrady, a retired Minneapolis community banker and former executive officer of the Independent Bankers of Minnesota, has launched a one-man campaign to roll back the Federal Reserve Board's approval of the $200 million deal.

In a letter to William W. Wiles, secretary to the Board of Governors, Mr. McCrady argues that the merger violates the Justice Department's standard guideline for determining market concentration.

Mr. McCrady accuses Minneapolis-based First Bank of "market intimidation" and contends that the deal would strengthen the too cozy relationship between regulators and the nation's big banks.

Three out of seven Fed governors opposed the merger on the ground that it gives First Bank System control of nearly five times the market share of any competitor.

Several state antitrust regulators and independent bankers' groups also weighed in against the deal. But it was approved by the Fed on Nov. 30 after First Bank gave up a Bank Share subsidiary in Rochester, Minn.

A spokesman for the Federal Reserve said the board received Mr. McCrady's letter and a second missive opposing the deal from another individual, whom the agency declined to name. The Fed expects to respond to the requests by the end of the week. First Bank had no comment on Mr. McCrady's letter.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.