Huntington CEO Sees Small Banks Merging Even Amid U.S. Crackdown
(Bloomberg) -- Huntington Bancshares Inc. Chief Executive Officer Steve Steinour said Citizens Financial Group Inc.’s $3.5 billion agreement to buy Investors Bancorp Inc. would probably be one of the last major financial-sector deals as smaller firms step into the spotlight.
“There’s more bank consolidation that will occur, not necessarily of significant sizes,” Steinour said in a Bloomberg Television interview Thursday. “You’ll see more smaller banks getting together because there is a scale to this business.”
The CEO brushed off concerns that a recent directive from the White House aimed at taming consolidation in industries including finance would derail smaller deals.
“There may be some derivative impacts from the review, but that’s speculation,” he said.
Citizens’ deal is the latest in a series of mergers and acquisitions undertaken by U.S. regional banks contending with rock-bottom interest rates and the need to boost spending on technology.
The Huntington CEO called the tie-up a “natural extension” of Citizen’s existing operations. Citizens head Bruce Van Saun described the move as a way of filling in a gap in the company’s Northeast footprint.
When asked if his company was eyeing further deals following the completion of Huntington’s TCF Financial Corp. acquisition last month, Steinour said the company has “a lot of work to do” as it finishes integrating the two businesses.
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