Banking giant Capital One has announced plans to acquire Discover Financial Services for $35.3bn in a deal combining two of the United States’s biggest lenders and credit card issuers.

Capital One founder and CEO Richard Fairbank described the deal as an “incredible opportunity to bring together two exceptional companies”.

“This deal accelerates our longstanding journey to work directly with merchants, to leverage our customer base, our technology and our data to drive more sales for the merchants and great deals for consumers and small businesses,” Fairbank said in a video statement posted on the company’s website on Monday.

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