SOURCE: Capital Insight Partners

Capital Insight Partners

February 11, 2010 08:15 ET

Capital Insight Releases Northern New England Community Bank Market Analysis

Key Finding: Consolidation Opportunities Abound in Overbanked Markets

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - February 11, 2010) -  Capital Insight Partners, an investment bank and consultancy specializing in community banks with up to $3 billion of assets, today announced the release of its analysis of northern New England economic trends and community banking market, including Massachusetts (primarily Boston metro area), Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. A free copy of the report is available for download at http://www.capitalinsight.com/clients/New_England_Banking_Market_Overview.pdf.

The report indicates that compared with other areas of the country, Northern New England has been relatively resistant to some of the worst economic conditions, in large part because of greater stability in real estate values low levels of speculative real estate development. In many parts of the region, there has been growth in the number of middle class households and increases in property values since the 2000 census.

The region contains a large number of community banks ranging in size from $200 million to $2 billion in assets. However, in light of increasing competition and rising regulatory requirements for capital adequacy, the area is probably over-banked and presents numerous opportunities for strategic consolidation, explained Eliot Stark, Capital Insight's managing director with over 30 years commercial banking experience.

"It has been quite revealing to see how well the region has weathered the recession, which is very positive news for northern New England," said Stark. "This may be one reason it was able to support a disproportionately large number of smaller community banks, including many startups during the past decade. This has led to a vibrant but fragmented market for community banks.

"With the prospect of increased bank regulation, higher capital requirements, and competition from larger banks with more resources, this is an important time for smaller banks to consider recapitalizing or merging with equals. These options could position these institutions for operating efficiencies, economies of scale, and a foundation for building market share and improving profitability."

Before joining Capital Insight, Stark spent more than 30 years in commercial banking, including as a corporate development, finance and planning executive with Comerica Bank, and as CFO and vice chairman of a healthy $500 million asset community bank.

Capital Insight Partners continues to develop in-depth analyses of numerous United States markets; particularly ones it believes are ripe for consolidation. The company works with community banking clients and on behalf of hedge funds, family offices, and private equity groups that invest in community banks throughout the country.

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