Magazine article American Banker

USB: Count Us out of Big-Deal Game

Magazine article American Banker

USB: Count Us out of Big-Deal Game

Article excerpt

U.S. Bancorp has no desire to join the consolidation trend but will instead grow organically for at least the next two years, its chief financial officer said Tuesday.

At a New York conference sponsored by Citigroup Inc.'s Smith Barney, David M. Moffett said his company's No. 1 focus this year and next will be increasing revenue from existing operations.

He ruled out big-ticket purchases and said the Minneapolis company can meet its goal of 10% annual growth in earnings per share on its own.

"I don't think any of these acquisitions that have been announced have any effect on U.S. Bank" or will "cause us to change what we plan to do," Mr. Moffett said. "We don't feel compelled to do anything other than to grow this business just as we stated and just as we outlined."

The conference was held just two weeks after J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. announced its $60 billion deal for Bank One Corp.

U.S. Bancorp would consider buying "very small," traditional banks in the West and perhaps targeted businesses, such as payments processing, Mr. Moffett said. However, he also said deals would "not be a driver" for the company.

The 10% growth goal "does not assume that we have any acquisitions," he said. "And the reason we don't assume it is because we don't expect it. We've got a great franchise, and we've got the business mix we want."

U.S. Bancorp would like to be bigger in the West, he said, but that "will come in time."

It expects to achieve earnings growth mainly by controlling costs and by improving cross-sales in its retail and commercial businesses, Mr. …

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