Bank One Corp. may be able to attract enough new customers through the Internet that bank acquisitions will become unnecessary, president and chief executive officer John B. McCoy said Friday.
"There's a good chance we will never acquire another bank," Mr. McCoy said in a speech to a conference sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. "A profound and fundamental change in the way customers buy and access accounts is being driven by the Internet."
Bank One's credit card business, First USA, will gain one million new accounts this year via the Internet, he said, and Bank One aims to cross- sell other financial products to these customers.
"If I'm right about the Internet, that's how we'll get our customers," Mr. McCoy told reporters after his speech.
Noting that Charles Schwab & Co. has shifted 60% of its business to the Internet, Mr. McCoy said, "This may be our model for the future."
Mr. McCoy said that only banks with "scale and skill" will survive.
"Smaller institutions won't be able to compete," he predicted. "I have questions whether there is room for $20 billion banks."