KBW Seeing One Bank Merger a Week as Rules Take Bite, CEO Says

(Bloomberg) -- Consolidation in the banking industry is continuing because of more costly rules imposed by regulators, Keefe Bruyette & Woods Inc.’s chief executive officer said.

"It is happening,” Tom Michaud said in an interview Friday on Bloomberg Television. “We have been working on a merger a week in our firm.”

Mergers and acquisitions by U.S. banks surged last year to about $18 billion, the highest level since 2009. This year, firms are set to fly past that mark, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. In nine of the 10 biggest deals completed in 2016, banks selling themselves cited heightened regulatory burdens as a driver, Securities and Exchange Commission filings show. The extension of low interest rates is compounding that pressure by eroding profits.