Mergers of Big Banks Spark Boom in Community Banking
Maryland Daily Record (08/28/00) Vol. 104, No. 34 p.1B; Perlman, Heidi B.

Recent mergers among the big banks have set off a boom in community banking. According to the Independent Community Bankers of America, the number of banks in the United States has fallen by over 40 percent since the 1970s. While there are approximately 11,000 banks in the United States today, analysts believe mergers will cut that figure in half over the next 10 years. Nevertheless, even with all this consolidation, over 200 local banks have been set up over the last year, the most ever in one year, according to the banker's association. Community banks are claiming that consumers are leaving the big banks and coming to them, where they can find a more personalized service, free checking services, and fewer fees.

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