U.S. Bancorp is interested in acquisitions involving any of the nation's 25 biggest banking companies, said Richard K. Davis, its chairman and chief executive, and it has taken a look at Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC's Citizens Financial Group Inc. as part of an ongoing analysis of suitable targets.
Mr. Davis said at a conference in New York hosted by Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. that he is most interested in large purchases, because they would provide "enough scale and enough opportunity" for his $247 billion-asset Minneapolis company.
The top-priority targets would be "traditional banking companies that have nontraditional businesses," like trust services and payments, Mr. Davis said. Smaller banks in markets already served by U.S. Bancorp would be lower on the priority scale. "While they are attractive … it doesn't have the same long-term appeal as some other deals do."
U.S. Bancorp is on track to sell $6.6 billion of preferred stock to the Treasury Department by Friday.
When a conference attendee asked if he had taken a look at the $161 billion-asset Citizens, he replied, "We have analyzed just about every bank out there that makes sense," including the Providence, R.I., unit.
Citizens did not immediately return a call.