H&R Block Inc. rose the most in almost 2 1/2 years after receiving regulatory approval to sell its bank unit to BofI Federal Bank, a deal that would end Federal Reserve oversight and capital restrictions.
The shares surged 8.4 percent to $35.65 at 9:35 a.m., the biggest increase since March 2013. A sale will be completed no later than Sept. 30, according to a statement Wednesday from Kansas City, Missouri-based H&R Block.
“Shortly after closing, H&R Block will cease to be regulated as a savings and loan holding company,” the firm said in the statement.
H&R Block, the biggest U.S. tax preparer, has been looking to sell bank assets for two years to free itself from Fed rules requiring savings and loans to hold more capital. It was the firm’s second attempt to sell the unit, after an agreement with Republic Bancorp Inc. fell through in 2013. Shares of H&R Block fell the most in more than two years in October when the sale to BofI was delayed.
H&R Block said at the time it would continue offering financial-services products through April after initially predicting the sale would be done in time for tax season. Analysts including Mark Palmer at BTIG LLC said they were concerned the delay would affect the pace of share buybacks.