The Antitrust Division is requiring PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. to divest 61 National City Western Pennsylvania branches in order to complete its acquisition of the Cleveland bank. The $5.6 billion combination, announced Oct. 24, 2008, will make PNC the fifth largest bank nationally in terms of total deposits, and the fourth largest in branches.  

Deposits in the divested branches are valued at $4.1 billion, and those branches could take up to six months to transfer. The divestiture includes deposits and commercial loans associated with the branches. Additionally, the agreement with DOJ requires a substantial divestiture of National City’s “middle market” lending, which according to DOJ includes “businesses with lending needs of more than $1 million.”  

The Antitrust Division is not expected to require any additional branches to be divested. And after the Federal Reserve Board approved the transaction Dec. 15, 2008, only a shareholder vote remains before the acquisition can be finalized.