BOCA RATON, Fla. — Cathleen Nash saved Citizens Republic (CRBC), only to agree to sell it. That’s a tough decision she sees many more banks facing in the immediate future.

 “It surprises me when I talk to other bank CEOs, especially small bank CEOs, who think this is just somehow going to get better,” Nash, the president and chief executive of Citizens Republic in Flint, Mich., said last week. “I’m not saying, ‘Every bank should sell themselves,’ but I think the next couple of years are going to be extraordinarily difficult.”

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