Banc One Intent on Michigan Expansion

Banc One Corp. has its acquisitive sights set on Michigan and is not likely to be deterred by its failure to win Security Bancorp.

"I can name you 20 banks in Michigan that we might acquire over time that can make us No. 1, 2, or 3 in the market," Banc One chairman John B. McCoy said this week.

He was responding to a question following a speech to the Bank Marketing Association annual conference on Wednesday - the day before Security announced it would be bought by Michigan-based First of America Bank Corp.

Goal: Market Strength

The potential to be among the top three in market share is one of Banc One's criteria for determining where to expand. Bank-America Corp. follows a similar approach. In Indiana, Texas, and Wisconsin, where Banc One has applied the principle, it owns the second-largest bank.

In Illinois, where Banc One has announced acquisitions of $3 billion in banking assets, Mr. McCoy said, "Over the next 10 years we can certainly build to No. 2 or No. 3."

Aside from its market-share opportunity, Michigan offers an attractive retail banking market and adjoins Banc One's home state of Ohio. As of March 31, Banc One Corp. had total assets of $42 billion, with about $600 million of them in four Michigan banks. The company's Michigan market share is about 2%, Mr. McCoy said.

NBD Is In-State Leader

The biggest banking company based in Michigan is NBD Bancorp of Detroit, a superregional with $27 billion in assets. Next come First of America Bank Corp., Kalamazoo, and Commercial Inc., Detroit, each around $14 billion, excluding pending acquisitions.

Banc One's strategy means that bankers in some states need not worry about facing direct competition from the Columbus, Ohio, retail powerhouse.

It decided against making a bid for Southeast Banking Corp. in Miami because it would not be a leader, and the bigger Florida banks are "pretty good," Mr. McCoy said. Similarly, Pennsylvania is "locked up" by three big competitors: Mellon Bank Corp., PNC Financial Corp., and CoreStates Financial Corp.

"I want to be in a position to beat two other guys, not five other guys," Mr. McCoy said.

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