For many banks, getting larger — via mergers or adding customers — is key to offering comprehensive services while keeping operational costs down. But for others, smaller is better.
Independent community banks often tout their ties to local towns and focus on how their staff, loan officers and others are likely to be local. Just as larger institutions have a role to play in the economy, these smaller banks have their own niche.
Nevertheless, Veronica Montagna, a Newark-based partner at the law firm McCarter & English who represents banks, says regulatory costs can often force many smaller banks into mergers.