The banking associations in Virginia and West Virginia have, for now, called off discussion about creating a single trade group.

Bruce Whitehurst, president and chief executive of Virginia Bankers Association, told American Banker that the widely reported attempt to find common ground on how to share resources, such as office space, public relations and training, did not materialize because of timing.

"The West Virginia Banking Association's board found there is not a strong consensus" among its members, he said. The associations informed members about their decision to stop deliberations nearly two months ago.

The Virginia trade group "is not in any discussions" about merging with any other associations, Whitehurst said, adding that the group will continue to work with other associations on a regular basis. "We won't change our ongoing strategy of collaborating with other banking groups and associations whenever it makes sense to our members and theirs," he said.

West Virginia Bankers Association CEO Joe Ellison told the Washington Business Journal that he has no doubt the merger will happen someday, predicting that more banking associations will have similar talks in the future.

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