The consolidation wave will engulf specialized financial services companies - credit card issuers and mutual funds included - as much as it does small and tradition-bound banking institutions, First Union Corp. chairman Edward E. Crutchfield Jr. said Wednesday.

Fresh from his agreement to acquire CoreStates Financial Corp. of Philadelphia for almost $17 billion, Mr. Crutchfield said in a speech that technology and other trends are forcing even companies that seem large to reach for greater scale and scope if they want to survive.

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