Can You Bank on Financial Mergers?

The Kiplinger Letter provides interesting analysis on a weekly basis. I’m not sure who keeps track of the accuracy of its many predictions and forecasts, but the guess is their experts are on target more often than not.

A recent issue calls for a large number of bank mergers over the next three years. In their words, "as many as one-fifth of the nation’s 8,000 banks are likely to disappear by 2013." It projects that about 500 of those will be due to failures.

In Kiplinger fashion, it lists some potential takeover targets — Capital One Financial, SunTrust, Fifth Third and other midsize institutions — as well as those that might be on the acquiring end: Northern Trust, PNC, U.S. Bancorp and Bank of New York Mellon. It notes that Wells Fargo, Bank of America and other biggies have hit their legal limit on growth.

There are a couple of current Indiana ties (primarily Fifth Third and PNC) on the list and who knows what might develop in the next few years. It will be interesting to see what happens.