What happened

Shares of New York Community Bancorp (NYCB 0.55%) fell more than 8% today as of 12:33 p.m. EDT after the bank reported earnings results for the third quarter of the year.

So what

The bank, with nearly $58 billion in total assets, reported diluted earnings per share of $0.30 on total revenue of $333 million, both numbers that missed on analyst estimates.

But the bigger issue in the quarter is that CEO Thomas Cangemi on the bank's earnings call said New York Community Bancorp won't be able to close on its pending acquisition of Flagstar Bancorp (FBC), which is expected to propel the bank to $87 billion in assets, until next year.

New York Community Bancorp is currently in the process of changing the composition of its balance sheet to one that relies on lower-cost funding and more diversity in its loan portfolio. The Flagstar acquisition is intended to really boost these efforts and investors had initially cheered the deal, so if it somehow didn't close, that would be a big loss for New York Community Bancorp.

Hand drawing red squiggly line downward.

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

Without question, it looks like regulators, particularly at the Federal Reserve, are tightening their belts when it comes to large bank deals. Recently, First Citizens BancShares, a regional bank based in North Carolina, announced that it had to extend its merger agreement with CIT Group in Missouri because it was still waiting on Fed approval.

The longer wait times for merger approval at the Fed are making investors nervous, but this does not mean the deal won't close. The Fed has not rejected any deals yet, so I still think it is more likely than not that the acquisition closes.