This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Goodbye National City, Hello PNC

I got a letter in the mail recently that began
We're writing with some exciting news.
National city Bank is now part of The PNC Fianancial Services Group, one of the leading financial services companies in the nation.
I love the spin. The actual story was not so happy. When the Treasury was injecting capital into the nation's banks by buying preferred stock, it apparently did not think National City was worth trying to save, and instead encouraged its takeover. A Bloomberg report notes,
National City, which PNC acquired on Dec. 31, was among the top 10 subprime loan originators in 2006 and made ill-timed acquisitions in Florida at the height of the housing boom, buying Fidelity Bankshares for $1 billion and Harbor Florida Bancshares for $1.1 billion in 2006 deals. The lender was ultimately forced to sell itself after racking up $4.4 billion in losses its last five quarters as an independent bank.
The stock of Fifth Third Bank has fallen from about $40 per share to about $3 per share in the last 18 months. I wonder if it will be the next name change in Rensselaer banking.

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