OREANDA-NEWS. April 26, 2016. Bank mergers and acquisitions are picking up again in 2016.  Richard Hunt, president and chief executive of the Consumer Bankers Association, predicts that “one in six banks will have to merge in 2016,” and bank industry veteran, Richard Bove of Rafferty Capital believes that “mergers between U.S. banks could hit the highest level in a decade this year.”

Based on these predictions, it could certainly be an exciting year for the banking industry, but bank mergers bring on a host of challenges for the two companies.

First and foremost, merging banks need to be concerned about retaining their retail customers.   While some customers will barely notice that their bank has a new brand name, other customers might be nervous about changes that may impact services offered, learning a new app, or convenience to branches.  To help minimize consumer attrition, banks can benefit from analyzing IXI’s anonymous consumer financial assets data to better determine how to communicate with their customers and help identify profitable households that warrant a more personal touch.  Using household financial insights to help develop communications that are appropriate for the banks’ combined customers can go a long way in assisting with a smooth transition.

Furthermore, the two banks must examine their combined customer-base in terms of growth potential and share of wallet.   Which customers should receive premium treatment?  Is there an opportunity to gain more assets from each customer?  Which customers hold the most opportunity?  Do customer segments need to be adjusted?  Our household asset insights can help banks answer these questions and redefine their customer strategy.

Finally, there is the branch network.  The merged banks need to reassess market potential, while at the same time evaluating if branches, kiosks, and ATMs are in the right locations to meet demand.  In all likelihood, some branches may be duplicitous, but there could be other nearby high-growth markets where a new branch could bring in significant deposits and loans.  IXI’s extensive market-level asset insights can help banks sort through the difficult task of optimizing their combined branch network.

To help merging banks gain knowledge about their combined customers and footprint, refer to IXI’s Mergers and Acquisitions Handbook for Retail Bank Marketers.  In this handbook, banks will find tips to help address their challenges as well as learn about data-driven insights that can help executives to better understand and interact with their customers, assess market potential, and help optimize their branch network to better meet demand.