Zions Bancorp. and First Security Corp. have decided to put decades of independent competition behind them in the interest of size and survival.

The Salt Lake City rivals agreed over the weekend to a $5.9 billion merger deal that would create a $40 billion-asset company. To be called First Security Corp. and stretch across 10 states, it would be the second- largest bank with headquarters in the West, behind only $201.4 billion- asset Wells Fargo & Co. of San Francisco.

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