Federal Reserve Release, Press Release; image with eagle logo links to home page
Release Date: June 22, 1999


For immediate release

The Federal Reserve Board today announced a public meeting for Wednesday, July 7, 1999, in Boston on the proposal by Fleet Financial Group, Inc., Boston, Massachusetts, to merge with BankBoston Corporation, Boston, Massachusetts.

The purpose of the meeting is to collect information relating to factors the Board is required to consider under the Bank Holding Company Act. These factors are the effects of the proposal on the financial and managerial resources and future prospects of the companies and banks involved in the proposal, competition in the relevant markets, and the convenience and needs of the communities to be served. With respect to competition, the proposal involves the merger of the two largest banking organizations in New England and will involve sizeable divestitures throughout the region. Convenience and needs considerations include consideration of the records of performance of Fleet Financial and BankBoston under the Community Reinvestment Act.

The meeting will be held at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, 600 Atlantic Avenue, Boston, and will begin at 9:00 a.m. EDT.

Persons wishing to testify at the meeting must submit a written request no later than 5:00 p.m. EDT, Wednesday, June 30, 1999, containing a brief statement of the nature of the expected testimony and the estimated time required for the presentation (together with their address, telephone number, and facsimile number if available), to Robert M. Brady, Vice President, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, 600 Atlantic Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02106 (facsimile: 617/973-3219). Persons interested only in attending the meeting do not need to submit a written request to attend.

On the basis of the requests to testify, the Presiding Officer of the public meeting will establish a schedule of appearances and prescribe all necessary procedures to ensure that the meeting proceeds in a fair and orderly manner. An agenda for the meeting, which will include the scheduled time for each person's testimony, will be provided to participants at a later date.

Attached is a copy of the Notice of Public Meeting, which sets forth the procedures to be followed at the meeting.

The Federal Reserve Board also announced that the period for public comment on the proposal has been extended through the close of business on Wednesday, July 7, 1999.


Fleet Financial Group, Inc.
Boston, Massachusetts

Notice of Public Meeting

Background and Public Meeting Notice
On May 17, 1999, Fleet Financial Group, Inc., Boston, Massachusetts ("Fleet Financial"), requested the Board's approval under the Bank Holding Company Act (12 U.S.C. 1841 et seq.) ("BHC Act") and related statutes to merge with BankBoston Corporation, Boston, Massachusetts ("BankBoston"). The Board hereby orders that a public meeting on the Fleet Financial/BankBoston proposal be held in Boston, Massachusetts, on Wednesday, July 7, 1999. The public meeting will be held at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, 600 Atlantic Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts, and will begin at 9:00 a.m. EDT. The Board also hereby orders that the comment period be extended for all members of the public through the close of business on Wednesday, July 7, 1999.

Purpose and Procedures
The purpose of the public meeting is to collect information relating to factors the Board is required to consider under the BHC Act. These factors are: the effects of the proposal on the financial and managerial resources and future prospects of the companies and banks involved in the proposal, competition in the relevant markets, and the convenience and needs of the communities to be served. With respect to competition, the proposal involves the merger of the two largest banking organizations in New England and will involve sizeable divestitures throughout the region. Convenience and needs considerations include a review of the records of performance of Fleet Financial and BankBoston under the Community Reinvestment Act, which requires the Board to take into account in its review of a bank acquisition or merger proposal each institution's record of meeting the credit needs of its entire community, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods, consistent with the safe and sound operation of the institution. 12 U.S.C. 2903.

The transaction also involves the proposed acquisition of a number of nonbanking companies engaged in activities permissible for bank holding companies. The Board must determine whether conducting the proposed nonbanking activities can reasonably be expected to produce benefits to the public that outweigh possible adverse effects, such as undue concentration of resources, decreased or unfair competition, conflicts of interest, or unsound banking practices.

Testimony at the public meeting will be presented to a panel consisting of a Presiding Officer and other panel members appointed by the Presiding Officer. In conducting the public meeting, the Presiding Officer will have the authority and discretion to ensure that the meeting proceeds in a fair and orderly manner. In contrast to a formal administrative hearing, the rules for taking evidence in an administrative proceeding will not apply to this public meeting. Panel members may question witnesses, but no cross-examination of witnesses will be permitted. The public meeting will be transcribed and information regarding procedures for obtaining a copy of the transcript will be announced at the public meeting.

All persons wishing to testify at the public meeting must submit a written request to Robert M. Brady, Vice President, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, 600 Atlantic Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02106 (facsimile: 617/973-3219) not later than 5:00 p.m. EDT, Wednesday, June 30, 1999. The request must include the following information: (i) a brief statement of the nature of the expected testimony and the estimated time required for the presentation; (ii) address and telephone number (and facsimile number, if available) of the person testifying; and (iii) identification of any special needs, such as from persons desiring translation services, persons with a physical disability who may need assistance, or persons requiring visual aids for their presentation. To the extent available, translators will be provided to persons wishing to present their views in a language other than English if this information is included in the request to testify. Persons interested only in attending the meeting do not need to submit a written request to attend.

On the basis of the requests received, the Presiding Officer will prepare a schedule for persons wishing to testify and establish the order of presentation. To ensure an opportunity for all interested commenters to present their views, the Presiding Officer may limit the time for presentation. Persons not listed on the schedule may be permitted to speak at the public meeting if time permits at the conclusion of the schedule of witnesses at the discretion of the Presiding Officer. Copies of testimony may, but need not, be filed with the Presiding Officer before a person's presentation.

By order of the Board, effective June 22, 1999.

(signed) Jennifer J. Johnson

Jennifer J. Johnson

Secretary of the Board

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