Friday, May 26, 2006

Heads are Gonna Roll--Regions Financial, AmSouth to Combine

Regions Financial, AmSouth to Combine
from Yahoo Finance

"Regions and AmSouth have 230 branches within a mile of each other, Jordan said."

This is very huge news for us here in Nashville. I have banked with Amsouth and Amsouth's predecessor, First American Bank, for 25 plus years. My dad was an original founding board member of First American. We go way, way back with this bank.

Honestly, this merger is kind of strange because the "banking footprints" do not compliment one another. In fact, they overlap quite significantly.

Just down the road here in Belle Meade, there is a Regions branch just 100 yards from an Amsouth Branch. Commercial Real Estate people are probably salivating at the possibilities. There would be no sense in keeping both branches open. I think AmSouth has signed on to build a brand new branch in the new Tony Girantanna building where the old Belle Meade theatre used to be.

What about all of the commercial banking people around here (not to mention Birmingham, Knoxville, Memphis, etc) that call on the same businesses as former competitors, that is, Regions banking folks versus AmSouth banking folks. No reason to keep two full contingencies of bankers serving the exact same market. Well, maybe an extra one or two, but not double.

Yes, people are probably shaking in their boots at both banks wondering who is going to stay and who is going to go. Such is the life of corporate business and corporate take overs.

But this one is a little strange--the only way they can make this work is by cutting ALOT of overhead, namely people and branches.

We'll be watching with interest. But, as for me, Pinnacle bank sure looks like a good play here. Small business people hate this continuous upheaval of bankers, mergers, and new faces.