Like most people in this city on the shore of Lake Erie, James Cleave, the chief executive of Marine Midland Bank, is in no hurry.

Though $23 billion-asset Marine Midland, the U.S. banking subsidiary of London-based HSBC Holdings, has the size to be a more acquisitive presence in its home turf of western New York State, Mr. Cleave has been in no rush to gobble up other institutions. When acquisitions have been made - such as last year's announcement to purchase $7 billion-asset First Federal Savings, a Rochester thrift - Marine Midland has met its own exacting standards on price.

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