Regulatory change not seen since the Great Depression swept the U.S. banking industry beginning in the early 1980s and culminated with the Interstate Banking and Branching Efficiency Act of 1994. Banking analysts anticipated dramatic consolidation with large numbers of mergers and acquisitions. Some expressed concern about the long-term health of the smaller community banks. This paper describes and discusses the actual evolution of the U.S. banking industry over the past two decades, using the 1976 to 1998 Report of Condition and Income (Call Report) and merger data recently posted on the web site of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Among several results, more permissive interstate banking and branching regulation significantly associates with higher merger rates, with lower net entry rates, and with higher concentration within states. Interestingly, more permissive intrastate banking and branching regulation only associates with higher concentration.
Jeon, Yongil and Miller, Stephen M., "Deregulation and Structural Change in the U.S. Commercial Banking Industry" (2001). Economics Working Papers. 200107.