Mark T. Lynch, runnerup in the regional banking analysts' category, holds a more skeptical view than most of his brethren about the prospects for increased mergers and acquisitions in the banking industry.

Mr. Lynch, who recently left Lehman Brothers to join Wellington Management, argued earlier this year that the main impediment to interstate acquisitions was not the federal law, but a lack of willing sellers.

It would require another recession to "shake loose" profitable smaller banks as sellers to larger institutions. The heralded merger wave in the wake of liberalized branching laws will be a small one, he suggested.

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