Sidney A. Bailey, Virginia's banking commissioner for the past 16 years, says mergers between large regional banks are creating dissatisfied customers' who are flocking to smaller institutions.

The 63-year-old regulator also is discouraged with big regional banks' philosophy. They tout cost savings and efficiencies, he says, but he sees few signs that they achieve those goals. Instead, he sees layoffs and displaced customers who don't qualify for loans under new, "standardized" terms.

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