Banking: Survival of The Biggest

Survival of The Biggest

With banks struggling under falling profits and bad loans, the industry is succumbing to financial Darwinism. Banks are seeking safety in numbers. In what could be the largest merger in U.S. banking history, NCNB, based in Charlotte, N.C., offered last week to buy Atlanta's C&S/Sovran Financial in a stock swap valued at $4 billion. The deal would create a so-called super- regional institution with total assets of $116 billion, second in size only to Citicorp among U.S. banks.

NCNB, which acquired First RepublicBank of Texas in 1988, has long coveted C&S/Sovran. The proposed merger came only three days after Winston-Salem's Wachovia...

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