Bank Strategies for Growth and Value

Shareholders don’t really care about how big you are. They care about what happens to their stock. Customers don’t care about how big you are. They care about the service that you give them.

—John Medlin, Wachovia Bank1

Every banker knows that being bigger does not always mean being better. Nonetheless, like their counterparts in other industries, many bankers strive to grow their enterprises from the de novo stage if for no other reason than to stave off the inevitable erosion that time and change can bring. In a very real sense, banks must “grow or die”—not merely to get bigger, but to keep from disappearing.

Furthermore, banks have a bias toward growth. Larger banks tend to have more sustainable ...

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