The Money Store's New Moneybags

THE MONEY STORE IS THE latest trophy for the acquisitive Ed Crutchfield, CEO of First Union. After snapping up two big banks and a brokerage firm last year, Crutchfield is plunking down $2.1 billion in First Union stock, outbidding still undisclosed rivals to buy the Money Store, a company specializing in home-equity, student, and Small Business Administration loans. The consumer-finance industry has come under pressure as savvier consumers seek out low-cost credit, but First Union officials believe both the bank and the Money Store will benefit from gaining access to each other's customer lists.

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.