How Important Is Consolidation to the Banking Industry? Will There Be Enough of It to Reduce the Number of Banks Substantially? How Many Will Be Left by 1999?
Vogelstein, Fred, American Banker
T. Lincoln Morison
Chairman and president First National Bank of Ipswich, Mass.
Consolidation is important because presently there is excess capacity, which needs to be absorbed.
But it's important that a variety of institutions emerge from that consolidation. There will be a need for large banks, medium-size banks, and community banks.
How many will there be by the end of the decade? I don't know if you'll end up with 7,500 banks or 10,000, but I certainly can see over the next decade more than 1,000 institutions merge, be acquired, or otherwise disappear.
Donald E. Garrant
President and chief executive The Savings Bank, Wakefield, Mass.
I think there will be and should be some consolidation of banks - but not to where we're looking like Canada, with six banks. I strongly feel the little community banker will survive.
Some degree of consolidation is destined to happen because of regulators, but I don't know how successful it will be.
Let's say we cut the number of banks by 25%; 20% of that will come back through entrepreneurship. We'll see enrepreneurial bankers say there's an opportunity to make money here.
Michael T. Mayes
Principal Lyons, Zomback & Ostrowski, New York
I think consolidation is important.
The conventional wisdom that there were more banks than bankers is probably true, and the argument that there is enough capital in the industry but that it's spread over too many banks is probably true. …