Consolidation across states lines and largely successful efforts by many banks to get into new businesses seem to be increasing the number of banking holding companies - even as the number of banks in the nation continues to decline.

According to an American Banker survey of the top 100 U.S. banking companies, there were 1,283 bank holding companies as of March 31 - 40 more than at the end of 1995. There were only 828 on Dec. 31, 1990.

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