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David Baris and Christopher M. Witeck Quoted in Bloomberg BNA Article, “Bank M&A Stagnates Despite Trump Push to Deregulate Industry”

Bloomberg BNA

David Baris, Christopher M. Witeck

David Baris and Christopher M. Witeck were quoted on September 28, 2017 in a Bloomberg BNA article, “Bank M&A Stagnates Despite Trump Push to Deregulate Industry,” which noted that there has not been an increase in bank mergers and acquisitions despite President Trump’s push to deregulate the financial industry. The article stated, “The 159 U.S. bank deals announced so far this year is 9 percent lower than the 175 during the same nine-month period in 2016, according Bloomberg L.P. data. Deal volume has trended downward in recent years from 323 in 2009 and 351 in 2010, to 235 deals for all of 2016. The deal stagnation comes amid rising bank stock prices since Trump’s election in November. The new administration has talked about loosening rules for banks, but made relatively little progress.”

The article also noted, “There isn’t a clear picture of what the regulatory structure will look like from a leadership perspective. Two key bank regulatory nominations—Randal Quarles to be vice chairman for bank supervision at the Federal Reserve and Joseph Otting to helm the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency—are awaiting Senate floor votes eight months into the new administration.” Baris said, “A lot of banks, are still struggling to make a reasonable profit with the headwinds of continuing substantial compliance costs. If they’re able to get regulatory relief from Congress or the banking agencies and CFPB [Consumer Financial Protection Bureau], that would give them more reason to stay independent. So it could work the other way.”

The article added, “The recent growth in financial technology, or fintech, and interest among traditional banks could also explain the decline in M&A.” Witeck stated, “The proposed fintech charter with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency remains a viable option that may contribute in the near term to decreased bank deal activity. If it becomes clear that’s not an option, you may see more fintech companies trying to buy banks.”

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