Nothing is more contagious than example.
—François Duc de la Rochefoucauld
When it comes to reputation, bankers know all too well M&A’s downside. Merger news stories do not always laud banking success. Instead, accounts may cite community protests over bank closings; customer complaints about postmerger operations or opportunities, especially with respect to lending; shareholder lawsuits over loss of share value; or regulatory concerns about market concentration or megabank impunity—“too big to fail” and “too big to jail.”
These accounts are not without merit. Bank closings may result in abandoned buildings and the proliferation of inferior credit offerings in a community.1 Business borrowers may indeed suffer ...