Increased activity in 2014 sets the stage for more bank M&A in 2015. That’s because a number of factors continue to drive consolidation in the industry following a period of comparative inactivity during and after the economic turmoil of five years ago, experts say.
As the operating environment for community banks toughens, many are now at least weighing their options of staying independent or seeking a partner, said John Kerschen, Managing Director, Charter Capital Partners. Since forming a financial institutions practice three months ago to represent community banks and credit unions that are seeking a partner or that need investors, the firm has had 20 to 25 meetings with banks that are examining their future.
“They’re analyzing what their opportunity is to continue as an independently owned and operated bank,” Kerschen said. “A strong majority, if not the entire industry, is in that analysis period. Some are further along than others, but this is definitely a top-of-mind topic for most bank CEOs and board members.” more