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.