These are fine times at some of America's regional banks.
Regulatory easing – in particular the decision to raise the threshold for a firm to be considered of systemic importance from $50 billion of assets to $250 billion – has paved the way for a new cycle of merger and acquisition activity.
Bank CEOs at the mid-sized lenders therefore need to determine the extent to which an acquisition might distract them from the pressing need to match the kind of customer offerings that big tech now have as standard.
Regional banks, whose corporate banking arms have been for so long focused on lending alongside the occasional bit of hedging, are having to keep pace with clients whose needs are growing ever more sophisticated. Regional banks have widely differing capital-markets offerings, a reflection of their local clients’ differing needs.
Euromoney has spoken to four US lenders about the challenges they face in building up their capital-markets businesses: Fifth Third Bancorp, Regions Financial Corporation, KeyCorp and Citizens Financial Group.