The recent boom in personal financial services (PFS) profits masks subtle negative trends, according to the McKinsey Quarterly anthology: "Industries in Collision."

During this period of record rises in earnings, many traditional players-money center banks, super regionals, giant life and property insurers, old-line brokers-have seen their competitive position decline. Consolidation will continue until national players emerge and new segments based on customer need and product economics replace the old segments- banking, insurance, and so on-that derive solely from regulation.

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