More realistic pricing, rising excess capital, cost savings, and concern over increasing technology costs will combine to prompt a record number of mergers and acquisitions in the U.S. banking industry next year, according to Thomas Hanley, a CS First Boston analyst.

By 1998, when this predicted wave of mergers and acquisitions will be nearing its end, he said, the number of major players in U.S. banking will have shrunk from 40 to 15.

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