Banks are consolidating all the time, and mergers are how some of the largest banks in America became so large. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission defines a merger as what happens when two or more companies join into a single entity.

Let’s look at some of the largest bank mergers and acquisitions, including some recent ones, and explore how mergers like these could affect you as a bank customer.

Some of the largest bank mergers and acquisitions over the years

Date Acquiring bank Acquired bank Purchase price
Jan. 1, 2009 Bank of America Merrill Lynch $50 billion
Oct. 27, 2003 Bank of America Fleet $47 billion
July 2, 2007 Bank of New York Mellon Financial Corp. $18.4 billion
Oct. 3, 2008 Wells Fargo Wachovia Corp. $15.1 billion
June 23, 2017 CIBC PrivateBancorp $5 billion
July 29, 2016 KeyCorp First Niagara $4.1 billion

Some recent bank mergers and acquisitions

Date Acquiring bank Acquired bank Purchase price
Feb. 1, 2023 BMO Harris Bank of the West $16.3 billion
April 2, 2022 M&T Bank People’s United $8.3 billion
Jan. 4, 2022 First Citizens CIT Bank $2.2 billion
June 9, 2021 Huntington TCF $6 billion
June 1, 2021 PNC BBVA $11.6 billion

Here’s a notable merger of equals

Date Banks involved Purchase price
Dec. 9, 2019 BB&T and SunTrust $66 billion

Bank failures can lead to bank acquisitions

In 2023, Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank and First Republic all failed. And all three have new owners. Silicon Valley Bank depositors are now with First Citizens, Signature Bank customers are now with Flagstar Bank, a subsidiary of New York Community Bancorp, and First Republic customers now bank with Chase.

When it acquired “the substantial majority of assets and assumed the deposits and other liabilities of First Republic,” Chase received around $92 billion worth of deposits, according to a Chase press release.

How bank mergers and acquisitions affect you

Your bank could merge with a bank, acquire another bank or be acquired by another bank. Sometimes the largest banks become even larger through these deals. Or a bank failure could cause consolidation.

These deals can affect consumers, who might need to change the way they bank. Changes could include:

  • Branch closures
  • New checks
  • New account numbers
  • New routing numbers
  • New products

Bottom line

The number of FDIC-insured banks has decreased nearly 27 percent from March 31, 2015, to Dec. 31, 2022, so there are fewer banks each year. And that trend is likely to continue.

Banking tends to be a long-term relationship, with a 2021 Bankrate survey finding that U.S. adults have used their primary checking account for more than 17 years and the same savings account for nearly as long. So it’s entirely possible that you’ll experience a banking merger or consolidation at some point, even if you never make a move to switch banks.