CLEVELAND Internal growth is becoming the new rallying cry as the merger market slows, but Midwest bankers say tweaking revenues is proving just as challenging as digesting takeovers.

Appearing before investors at a McDonald & Co. conference held here recently, Midwest bankers bemoaned the cruel fates befalling their stocks this year. Many conceded that trading setbacks, combined with culling of weaker rivals, might dampen acquisition prospects for quite some time.

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