The merger between Keycorp and Society Corp. took many industry observers by surprise. While rumors abounded of a merger of Fleet and Nations-Bank, Keycorp and Society created a new top-10 bank covering 18 states, and took a major step toward creating a national bank. The new entity is a significant contender on the national scene and one of a handful of institutions that are positioned to become true national banks.

What are the implications of this merger? Should all community banks give up? Does it mean that consolidation is unavoidable? Perhaps it means that we are at the end of an era and the M&A window is about to close yet again.

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