As the biggest banks agglomerate themselves into national or even global financial monoliths, there is little indication they want to follow in the footsteps of J.P. Morgan and gravitate almost exclusively to the institutional marketplace.

Witness Chase Manhattan’s insistence, for example, that it will stay active in consumer banking even after absorbing the banking offspring of the Morgan empire, and it becomes clear that no matter how big the biggest get, few can kick the retail habit.

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