The Texas Bankers Association and the Independent Bankers Association of Texas have canceled merger talks, with each side blaming the other.
The Texas Bankers Association said the proposed combination fell apart because the other trade group walked away from the table. But Christopher L. Williston, president of the Independent Bankers Association, said the Texas Bankers Association tried to rush his group into accepting a list of excessive demands.
"They just believed they had all the money and all the history, so they had to have control," Mr. Williston said Wednesday. "I'm just glad it's over."
John M. Heasley, who was named interim president of the Texas Bankers Association this week, said his group deserved more control over the new association because its membership generates greater income and its finances are stronger. He also said his group was concerned that the structure of the combined association would have unfairly handcuffed big bank members. "The idea was to truly represent all institutions," he said.
The Independent Bankers Association offered to drop its call for community-bank-only membership, which would have denied out-of-state players such as BankAmerica and Chase Manhattan Bank from joining, Mr. Williston said.
But the group refused to cede control of the merged entity's executive and policymaking committees to Texas Bankers Association members in exchange for making Mr. Williston president of the combined association.
With Mr. Williston declaring merger talks dead for at least three years, the two Austin-based groups are charting new courses.
The Texas Bankers Association will search for a permanent chief while Mr. Heasley temporarily leads the group and remains general counsel. He succeeds Gary W. Schur, a past chairman who became interim president after the death of Robert E. Harris in August. Sources predicted Mr. Heasley will get the job permanently to keep him from leaving Texas to join the Senate Banking Committee staff.
Meanwhile, the Independent Bankers Association has started construction on a new $2.3 million headquarters that will double its square footage.