Many observers confidently predict that as mergers continue to rage, so-called "mid-tiers" - banks with assets between $1 billion and $10 billion -will be squeezed out of existence.

It's happened already in several southern states. South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida have lost most of their publicly traded midsize banks. Charlotte-based NationsBank in January bought one of the last in Georgia, Atlanta's Bank South Corp. Only Synoyus Financial Corp., of Columbus, Ga., remains.

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