American political humorist Will Rogers once famously advised an audience, Buy land. They aint making any more of the stuff. While that advice sounds a little quaint in the wake of the popped housing bubble, it might be said of banks today. Over the last two years, not a single new bank has been chartered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), while over that same period of time FDIC regulators have shut or forced the takeover of nearly 200 failing banks.
Yet while analysts have been predicting a big wave of consolidation in the industry for two years now, so far the waters have been calm. Pre-crisis, in the 2000-2006 period, whole bank acquisitions were averaging close to 300 per year, with the deal values averaging a total of $100 billion a year, but in since 2010, theyve been closer to 50 acquisitions totaling about $10 billion annually. This has left people wondering, Will 2013 be the year?
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