Banks Get Bigger, But at What Cost?

The board of Columbia Banking System in Tacoma, Washington, debated how to stay relevant in a rapidly consolidating, increasingly complex environment. After careful review, directors decided that the best way to create value and keep their strategic options open was also the most obvious: Get bigger. A few hundred miles to the south, the board of Umpqua Holdings Corp. in Portland, Oregon, had reached a similar conclusion. The benefits of greater scale – the efficiencies, more expansive product menus and ability to serve clients across a broader geography – made following the industry trend toward bigness too appealing to resist.…

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John Engen

Contributing Writer

John Engen is a contributing writer for Bank Director. He has more than 30 years of experience as a business journalist, writing for a variety of newspapers and magazines, and was a foreign correspondent for the Associated Press. He graduated with a degree in economics and international relations from the University of Minnesota and did his post-graduate work in Asian studies at the University of Hawai’i.

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