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Opinion

US regional bank M&A may be about to get tougher

President Joe Biden’s next round of regulatory nominations might make this year’s surge of regional bank M&A short lived.

Yellen and Powell testify on the CARES Act at the Hart Senate Office Building in Washington
Progressive Democrats highlight the ‘dangerous’ deregulatory leanings of Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell, in opposition to his proposed reappointment.
Photo: Reuters

This year has already been the busiest since the financial crisis for US bank mergers; and it’s not over yet. September saw Citizens add to its already busy roster with the $149 million purchase of JMP Group, while at the other end of the scale, US Bancorp announced an $8 billion acquisition of most of MUFG Union Bank.

Earlier in the year Citizens announced the acquisitions of Investors Bancorp and HSBC’s east coast branch network and national online deposits platform, and closed its deal to buy valuation consulting firm Willamette Management Associates. Huntington Bancshares closed its $22 billion merger with TCF Financial, while M&T announced its $7.6 billion deal to buy People’s United Financial.

Small banks find that selling themselves looks like a better option than trying to slog on alone as conditions get tougher

It has been quite the rush, although one long expected as small banks find that selling themselves looks like a better option than trying to slog on alone as conditions get tougher.

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