Which M&A Banks Could Cause Systemic Risk?

During the Texas Bankers Association’s Annual Strategic Opportunities Conference, mergers & acquisitions (M&A) for growth was a key topic. There are so many banks with talented executives, products and technological innovations, mergers might be the best strategy. But did the Fed’s March 17, 2017 “M&A Banks Systemic Risk” rule change, make M&A easier?


“Too Big To Cause Systemic Risk”


The Fed runs the American banking system. When there are mergers or acquisitions, the financial institutions must get the approval of the Fed to proceed. Why?


Since 2008, the Fed has become the “system risk manager for Capitalism.” Since 2012, the threshold for bank mergers possibly causing “systemic risk” was $25 billion. On March 17, 2017, the “system risk” threshold was raised to $100 billion. Shouldn’t this improve the ability for banks to merge? Yes.


On average, it took up to a year to approve bank mergers, under the previous rule. The Fed announced the new 2017 rule with its approval of the People’s United Financial acquisition of Suffolk Bancorp (they had consolidated assets of $43 billion.) Sometimes, when M&A deals take a year of Fed scrutiny, investors get cold feet.


“NexBank Worth $4.6 Billion”


“How does NexBank fit into this mergers picture?” This Dallas bank was established way back in 1934 and has a December 31, 2016 asset total of $4.6 billion. So generally, it will not need to be too concerned about the “M&A Systemic Risk” threshold.


The NexBank A+ My Bank Tracker Rating could be attractive to some suitors. There are 88 employees working at 4 locations. It has an “A” Deposit Accounts Health Rating. While NexBank CEO John Holt, who spoke at the Texas Bankers Association’s Annual Strategic Opportunities Conference, may or may not be interested in M&A, the Fed’s change has speed up the approval process.