Banc One Corp. chairman John B. McCoy said Wednesday that the inability of Congress to enact financial reform is threatening the industry's future.
"If we don't get this legislation soon, we will become irrelevant and go the way of the savings and loan industry," Mr. McCoy said at the Bank Administration Institute's regulatory and auditing conference.
The House passed a bill last month that would let banks own insurance and securities firms. The Senate Banking Committee is holding a second straight day of hearings on the bill today.
Mr. McCoy predicted that the recent merger wave would continue. "Banking companies are going to have to get bigger and bigger," he said. "If we don't, the competition will sweep us away."
As big banks grow and become more efficient, they will increasingly take business from community banks, which will be offering fewer products at higher costs.
"You are going to see more and more one-stop shopping because that is what the consumer wants," he said. "That is why community banks are going to have a problem."