Two highly regarded superregional banks - KeyCorp of Albany, N.Y., and U.S. Bancorp of Portland, Ore. - held merger talks last year but were unable to come to terms on a deal, the American Banker has learned.

The talks began in August and culminated in October with a meeting between Victor J. Riley Jr., KeyCorp's chief executive, and Roger L. Breezley, his counterpart at U.S. Bancorp. The two executives met secretly at the Hilton Hotel near Chicago's O'Hare airport.

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