Slideshow Banks' M&A Radar: What's On, What's Off

  • July 31 2013, 8:00am EDT
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Leaders of midsize banks were generally more enthusiastic about M&A than larger ones during second-quarter calls and other discussions, but the deal-minded have very specific kinds of targets in mind.

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Swagger Is Back

BB&T (BBT) looked to be out of the M&A game for awhile when the Federal Reserve rejected its capital plan in March, but CEO Kelly King recently said that "I would be surprised if you don't begin to see acquisitions as we head through 2014."

Related Article: BB&T More Eager Than Rivals to Return to M&A Game

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Not Us

PNC Financial Services Group (PNC) executives preached a stay-the-course approach that eschews more M&A, and CEO Bill Demchak denied any interest in Citizens Financial Group, which Royal Bank of Scotland has put on the block.

Related Article: PNC Rides Fee Income to Higher 2Q Profit, Denies Interest in Acquisitions


U.S. Bancorp (USB) CEO Richard Davis' interest in buying a traditional bank "couldn't be more dormant," he says, but "we will talk to anybody" who wants to sell a payments company, even a startup.

Related Article: U.S. Bancorp Chief Bearish on Bank M&A, Bullish on Payments Deals

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Selective Taste

KeyCorp (KEY) -- which is selling its Victory Capital Management unit and buying a large CMBS servicer from Bank of America (BAC) -- will limit itself to deals that "are additive to our business model ... [and] our client-relationship philosophy," CEO Beth Mooney says.

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Back to the Future?

Synovus Financial (SNV), a onetime serial acquirer that recently repaid its Troubled Asset Relief Program funds, will return to making acquisitions eventually, CEO Kesel Stelling says.

Related Article: Synovus Seeks to Prove Staying Power after Tarp Exit

The Price of Demand

Bank of the Ozarks (OZRK) in Little Rock, Ark., is "actively working" on deals, but its show of interest "may create some pricing pressure that may cost us some deals we might otherwise have gotten done," CEO George Gleason says.

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Wait for Me

Cathay General (CATY) in Los Angeles is looking to jump into the consolidation frenzy in the Korean-American bank market. Acquisitions are its "first preference" for spending its excess capital (once it repays Tarp), Chief Financial Officer Heng Chen says.

Related Article: Wilshire Deal's Cost-Cut Goal May Spur Korean-American Bank M&A

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Sticking Close to Home

"The most effective M&A transaction for us will be the one … where we have significant overlap so that we can be assured of significant cost takeouts," Philip Flynn, CEO of Associated Banc-Corp (ASBC) in Green Bay, Wis., says.

Related Article: Chicago Bankers Weigh In on MB-Taylor Deal's Impact

No Rush

FirstMerit (FMER) in Akron, Ohio, sees no need to pursue another deal in Chicago anytime soon even though MB Financial's (MBFI) deal for Taylor Capital (TAYC) has fueled M&A speculation, CEO Paul Greig says.

Eyes Wide Open

First Midwest in Itasca, Ill., wants to be a buyer but how soon is uncertain. "There are a lot of conversations going on, but there has always been a lot of conversations," CEO Mike Scudder says.

Related Article: Chicago Bankers Weigh In on MB-Taylor Deal's Impact

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