A top Capital One Financial Corp. executive said Tuesday that regulators and the public should be pleased that it wants to merge with ING Group's online U.S. banking unit, saying its purchase is substantially safer than other potential alternatives.

While consumer groups have urged the Federal Reserve Board to reject the proposed deal, arguing it would create another "too big to fail" institution, Capital One said the merger is the best of all options for ING. Testifying at a second Fed hearing on the deal, John Finneran, the bank's general counsel, said that given ING's size and business model, the potential pool of interested acquirers was "greatly limited."

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