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imageCommunity banks move to consolidate their charters in an effort to save money and streamline operations.

Deciding when to consolidate and whether to keep multiple banks, can be a question of balance between cutting costs and avoiding disruption to a business.

Many of these charters refused mergers during the financial crisis, but as the market has improved, they are now looking for new opportunities.

Banks that have recently announced charter consolidations include

  • Hancock Holding (HBHC) in Gulfport, Miss.
  • Simmons First National SFNC) in Pine Bluff, Ark.
  • First National of Nebraska in Omaha
  • Republic Bancorp (RBCAA) in Louisville, Ky.

A decision to consolidate or not involves factors specific to each bank, but is usually spurred by a need to lower costs and reduce the regulatory and operational problems of dealing with multiple charters. Chris Cummings, a reporter for American Banker, reports for OnWallSteet.com.