Summary: This study presents data on all bank mergers from 1980 to 1994, including the number, sizes, locations, and types. To place the mergers in perspective, the paper also examines industrywide data on banking structure and performance, including data on branches, ATMs, stock prices, and changes in the number of organizations over the period.
Among other findings, the data show that (1) 1980-94 was a period of record merger activity, with more than 6,300 mergers and $1.2 trillion in acquired assets; (2) several of the largest mergers in U.S. banking history, including BankAmerica-Security Pacific and Chemical Bank-Manufacturers Hanover, took place during the subperiod 1991-94; (3) the number of banks declined and nationwide banking concentration increased substantially while local market concentration changed little; and (4) the number of banking offices continued to grow even as the number of ATMs exploded. The data on ATMs and banking offices, along with other information, suggest that electronic banking is not yet close to providing a substitute for branch offices and that the branch office may be an important retail platform differentiating banks from other providers of financial services.
Full paper (132 KB PDF)
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Last update: May 29, 2002