The Federal Reserve approved 's acquisition of , which the companies expect to complete on or about Aug. 1.
The companies expect to perform systems and clientconversion during the fourth quarter. The merger of into is still pending OCCapproval.
In its approval order, the Fed noted that it receivedcomments from 388 commentators in support of the merger and 51 who eitheropposed it, expressed concern or requested that the merger only be approvedconditionally.
The merger had faced some political opposition and about market concentration,and the banks eventually struck a deal to divest 18 branches, addressing concerns from the U.S.Department of Justice.
Recently, the banks announced post-merger plans toconsolidate 70 First Niagarabranches and 36 KeyBank branches while also confirming all branchemployees will be offered jobs in the combined company. The move was linked todiscussions with Sen.Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Rep. Brian Higgins, D-N.Y.