Douglas M. Lester has a theory. The chairman and chief executive of Trans Financial Bancorp., a $1.6 billion asset bank based in Bowling Green, Ky., said he believes that superregional banks will begin - in the not too distant future - to pull out of small communities, creating greater opportunity for institutions like his.

"It's hard for (big banks) to compete on a personal basis in a lot of the smaller markets. I think they are finding out they are better off competing strictly on cost and going to the metropolitan areas."

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.