More details continue to emerge about opportunities missed and thwarted by federal regulators, leading to the demise of Park National Bank. A recent Crain’s Chicago Business profile (Dec. 14) of legendary Chicago banker Harrison Steans’ return to the banking scene, notes that Cole Taylor Bank, of which he is a leading stockholder, held merger talks with Park National but federal regulators nixed the deal because they had concerns about Cole Taylor.

Steans started a foundation 20 years ago, which has made millions in loans to improve conditions in the North Lawndale neighborhood on the city’s West Side. In other words, if Park National were to be swallowed by another bank, better one led by someone like Steans than U.S. Bank, the eventual acquirer, which has no track record of local community reinvestment.

Nothing happy about this situation. Bah, humbug all the way.

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