A consolidation will take place within the
financial services market in Oklahoma during the 1990s, with new
laws prompting acquisitions and mergers in the banking industry and
economic conditions playing a role in thrift mergers.
"We are looking at a consolidation from 53 savings and loans
today to perhaps 25 institutions at 250 locations," said Michael
Toalson, president of the Oklahoma League of Savings Institutions.
"The trend is not for more bricks and mortar. As a community grows,
we expect branching to trace it, but not with the type of growth in
branching as we have had in the past."
Currently, there are 195 branch locations of Oklahoma savings
and loan associations.
More mergers in the banking industry are expected to take place
during the next 12 years, according to Wayne Osborn, Oklahoma bank
"I think we will see a tremendous number of mergers," he said.
"As far as the general public, merged larger banks will be able to
serve them better."
In many cases, mergers will be formed through the unification of
small banks packaging themselves into single branching systems, said
Robert Harris, executive vice president of the Oklahoma Bankers
"Our (OBA) strategic plan assumes we will have statewide branch
banking in Oklahoma before 1992," Harris said. "It will
substantially reduce the number of bank charters and increase the
number of banking offices."
Bank charters will stabilize at a number between 250 and 300,
Harris said, reduced from 489 banks today.
The diminish of bank charters will mainly occur through
acquisition and mergers, Harris said. By the second quarter of
1988, bank failures will no longer be a major concern.
Smaller institutions will find it increasingly difficult to
operate in a deregulated environment, Harris said.
"They can't afford human or physical resources necessary to
compete with large organizations," he said. "By merging a number of
these together and creating larger institutions, these resources
will become affordable."
Bank powers will be expanded, allowing them to sell securities,
insurance and broker real estate, officials said. Savings and loan
associations will look like a bank and market the same services as a
"By the year 2000, it will probably be difficult to tell the
difference between all financial institutions," Osborn said.
The credit union industry will probably remain a viable consumer
organization as it is today, according to Marvin Cottom, president
of Weokie Credit Union.
"As other institutions get bigger and lean more toward
commercial lending, they are driving the consumer and working class
to the credit union," Cottom said. "Survival will be enhanced by
the larger size of other institutions."
There will probably be additional mergers in the credit union
industry, officials said, but primarily as a result of economic
factors affecting the membership field they serve.
More credit unions may take advantage of the Credit Union
Service Organization, which is a vehicle used for brokering real
estate and selling insurance.
"We currently have the power to service all the members'
financial needs," Cottom said.
Savings and loan associations will be referred to as banks,
noted Toalson, but they will retain their traditional role as
"While we may look like a bank, financing housing will be a
primary function well into the 1990s," he said. "We will see a
reduction in housing financing within the asset mix, but will
continue to be primary financiers of housing needs.
"I am personally convinced that we (savings and loans) will
offer more services than we do today, specifically in consumer loans
and commercial loans, and we will continue to be the primary real
estate lenders. …