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A month to remember in bank M&A
May was a pivotal month for bank consolidation.

For starters, lawmakers passed comprehensive regulatory reform that many industry experts believe could spur more bank combinations. One of the law’s key provisions will raise the threshold for systemically important financial institutions, which could get a number of large acquirers off of the sidelines. Other changes could encourage smaller banks to go for a deal that they once were hesitant to pursue.

The month also turned out to be a busy one for transactions. At least 20 deals were announced during May, accounting for about a quarter of the entire year’s activity.

Because it featured the year’s three biggest bank deals — Fifth Third Bancorp’s $4.6 billion purchase of MB Financial, Cadence Bancorp’s $1.3 billion acquisition of State Bank Financial and Independent Bank Group’s $1 billion agreement to buy Guaranty Bancorp — the month also accounted for 56% of 2018’s aggregate deal value.

There was a wide variety of sellers, ranging from a de novo to well-established regionals and from commercial banks to large mortgage lenders. Several banks are based in major metropolitan markets that have already seen significant amount of consolidation in recent years, increasing the perceived scarcity value of the independent banks that remain in those communities.

Here is a look at the most noteworthy deals that were announced in May.