If Mergers Were Simple, Banking's Troubles Might Be Over
For years, executives at First Interstate Bank System of Montana Inc. and Commerce Bancshares Inc. debated the merits of a merger. Linking First Interstate's seven banks with Commerce Bancshares, across the state line in Sheridan, Wyo., would create a bigger, more efficient network. Combining back offices would also cut costs. And working out the merger seemed a cinch. The two privately held banks shared many of the same family stockholders and a few top executives. After clearing state regulators, the banks expected a swift approval when they filed a merger application in September, 1989, with the Federal Reserve Bank in Minneapolis.
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