This paper was published as a Faculty Working Paper (no. 216) for the Lubin School of Business, Center for Applied Research, July 2005

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This study describes the characteristics of the consolidation trend in the commercial banking industry over the last decade. Smaller banks are disappearing and the largest banks are growing rapidly. Due to economies of scale and scope, the largest banking entities have paid the highest rates on savings, charged the lowest rates on loans, and have been able to operate efficiently with the lowest levels of expensive equity capital. The study also suggests that these trends and patterns have not yet played themselves out, thus, continued consolidation is expected, at least over the next few years.