At least a half-dozen Northeastern bank consultants are jockeying to assemble groups of community banks in Connecticut and Massachusetts to bid jointly on as many as 150 branches expected to be sold by Fleet Financial Group.

Following its upcoming merger with Shawmut National Corp., the Providence-based regional is likely to divest branches with $2.5 billion to $4.5 billion of deposits, primarily in the two states, according to Hartford's Bank Analysis Center, one of the consultants. Additional divestitures are also possible in New Hampshire and New York.

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