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Public Meeting Transcripts

Public Meeting Regarding Fleet Financial Group, Inc., and BankBoston Corporation

Wednesday, July 7, 1999

Presiding Officer's Remarks

        3            PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH:  Thank you, 
          4   Richard.  I am pleased to welcome you to this 
          5   important public meeting on the application by Fleet 
          6   Financial Group to acquire BankBoston Corporation.  
          7   Richard has already done so, but for the record I'll 
          8   go ahead and introduce myself.  I am Dolores Smith, 
          9   Director of the Division of Consumer and Community 
         10   Affairs at the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, 
         11   D.C.  I'll be the Presiding Officer for this 
         12   meeting.  
         13            Other members of our panel include two from 
         14   the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and two from the 
         15   Board.  First, Boston, we have Bill McDonough on my 
         16   extreme right, the bank's General Counsel.  Then at 
         17   my extreme left Lynn Browne, Senior Vice President, 
         18   Research and Statistics.  
         19            From the Board on my left, Myron Kwast, who 
         20   is the Associate Director for the Division of 
         21   Research and Statistics, and to my right Scott 
         22   Alvarez, who is the Associate General Counsel. 
         23            We are here today because Fleet Financial 
         24   Group, Boston, Massachusetts, has applied for 
         25   approval to acquire BankBoston Corporation, Boston, 
          1   Massachusetts.  When the Federal Reserve considers 
          2   one of these applications, we look at a number of 
          3   factors under the Bank Holding Company Act.  These 
          4   include financial issues, managerial issues, 
          5   competitive issues, and the convenience and needs of 
          6   the communities affected.  In doing so, we 
          7   particularly look at the record of performance of 
          8   the parties under the Community Reinvestment Act.  
          9            The Community Reinvestment Act requires the 
         10   Board to take into account an institution's record 
         11   of meeting the credit needs of its entire community.  
         12            The Fleet-BankBoston application also 
         13   involves the proposed acquisition or retention of 
         14   nonbanking companies engaged in activities 
         15   permissible for bank holding companies.  The Federal 
         16   Reserve Board must determine whether the proposed 
         17   nonbanking activities can reasonably be expected to 
         18   produce benefits to the public that outweigh 
         19   possible adverse effects such as undue concentration 
         20   of resources, decreased or unfair competition, 
         21   conflicts of interest or unsound banking practices.  
         22            The purpose of the public meeting today is 
         23   to receive information regarding these factors.  We 
         24   will be seeking to elicit this information and to 
         25   clarify factual issues related to the application.  
          1            We are very pleased that so many people 
          2   have been willing to come and testify at the public 
          3   meeting today.  We expect to have more than 160 
          4   groups and individuals represented during the course 
          5   of the meeting.  
          6            And I want to tell you a little bit about 
          7   the procedures.  This is what is called an informal 
          8   public meeting.  Members of this panel may ask those 
          9   who are testifying about their testimony.  This is 
         10   not a formal administrative hearing, so we are not 
         11   bound by rules regarding evidence, 
         12   cross-examination, and some of the formal trappings 
         13   of that kind of proceeding.  
         14            As you can see from the agenda, we have a 
         15   very long day ahead of us and we will need to stick 
         16   to the schedule closely so that everyone who has 
         17   asked to offer oral testimony will have a chance to 
         18   do so at the appointed time.  We ask the witnesses 
         19   to be mindful of the needs of others and to help us 
         20   stay on schedule.  
         21            The witnesses on each panel will be 
         22   expected to stay within their allotted times.  We 
         23   have a signal system that we will be using.  We have 
         24   two timers seated at -- two timekeepers seated at 
         25   the table, and we will also have panels that are of 
          1   varying sizes, so that for most of the panels the 
          2   witnesses will have between three and five minutes 
          3   to present their oral statements.  In a few 
          4   instances the witnesses have been allotted slightly 
          5   longer times.  The timekeeper will give you a signal 
          6   generally when there is one minute remaining to 
          7   speak and another -- do you want to hold that up in 
          8   both directions so that the people in back can see 
          9   you.  And then there is a second card that they will 
         10   hold up when the time is up.  
         11            And sometimes it's hard for the witnesses 
         12   to be looking at the panel, the Federal Reserve 
         13   panel, and also to be minding the timekeeper, so 
         14   there may be times when the witness doesn't notice 
         15   that the "Please Finish" sign has been held up, in 
         16   which case the timekeeper will give an audio signal, 
         17   and we'll try to call your attention to that. 
         18            You will also see from the schedule that we 
         19   in several cases do have a rather large number of 
         20   persons on a given panel, and they will each have 
         21   about one minute at the microphone.  This we have 
         22   done so that we can provide an opportunity for all 
         23   of these persons individually to have their say 
         24   before this public meeting.  
         25            Finally, there may be some persons who were 
          1   unable to sign up in advance, so to the extent 
          2   possible we want to give them a chance to speak as 
          3   well.  We have scheduled toward the end of today's 
          4   meeting an open-mike period when we will make the 
          5   microphone available to any member of the public who 
          6   wants to make an oral presentation, time permitting.  
          7            Witnesses at this public meeting also may 
          8   submit a written supplement to their oral testimony, 
          9   but they must do so by next Wednesday, July 14th, 
         10   and then the record will be closed.  Any written 
         11   supplements should be directed to Jennifer J. 
         12   Johnson, Secretary of the Board, Federal Reserve 
         13   Board, Washington, D.C. 20551.  They must be 
         14   received by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on the 
         15   14th.  Submissions also could be faxed to Area Code 
         16   202-452-3462.  
         17            Witnesses, if you have not turned in copies 
         18   of your written testimony or if you have any other 
         19   written statement to put into the record, please 
         20   leave it with the Federal Reserve staff at the 
         21   registration table.  It is important that we get 
         22   this information for the record.  A transcript of 
         23   the meeting will be available by probably Monday, 
         24   July the 12th, through the Federal Reserve Bank of 
         25   Boston and through the Federal Reserve Board.  
          1            In addition, the official transcript will 
          2   be available by the close of business July the 14th 
          3   on the Board's public Web site at 
          5            And with that, let's begin the proceedings 
          6   and have members of our first panel. 
          7            In the interest of time, what I'll ask is 
          8   that you each state your name, organization, and 
          9   then we'll start with that. 
         10            MR. MURRAY:  I'm Terry Murray, Chairman of 
         11   Fleet Bank Group. 
         12            MR. GIFFORD:  I'm Chad Gifford, Chairman, 
         13   BankBoston.
         14            MS. SNOWDEN:  Gail Snowden, Managing 
         15   Director, BankBoston.
         16            MS. SCANLAN:  Agnes Bundy Scanlan, Managing 
         17   Director of Fleet Financial Group.
         18            PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH:  Mr. Murray.

Last update: December 3, 2010