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Analysts Say Banking Industry Ripe For Consolidation

Loan Evaluations co-owner Kyle Waters was recently interviewed by The New Orleans Advocate  for an article about the state of banking in Louisiana.

Veteran New Orleans banker Kyle Waters is among those looking closely at the prospects.A former top executive with Hibernia National Bank, which merged into Capital One Corp. in 2005, and OmniBank, which sold to IberiaBank in 2011, Waters recently formed a consulting company focused on evaluating bank loan portfolios for owners who are thinking of selling their institutions and prospective buyers who need due diligence on their acquisition targets.

“I think community banks in Louisiana, as well as in Texas and around the Southeast, are going to be looking at mergers,” he said.

Waters thinks his firm, Loan Evaluation Services LLC, will find its clients primarily among banks of $1 billion or less in assets. The larger institutions in that group will be scouting smaller banks that can provide new sources of deposits and a good client base, “and we think some smaller banks, in the $200 million to $300 million range, will be looking to combine,” he said.

Much of the deal-making in the next few years will occur along the commercial areas lining Interstates 10 and 12 across south Louisiana, Waters predicted. “That’s where most commerce in Louisiana takes place, so you want a strategy that takes you along that corridor,” he said.

Waters said the relatively strong financial health of Louisiana banks and their clients creates a favorable environment for reaching deals.

Click Here to read the full article at theneworleansadvocate.com.