With loan demand still weak in many areas of the country, more and more bankers are starting to believe that their banks will need to merge with other institutions to achieve meaningful growth.

In a survey of bank executives and officers conducted by the accounting firm Grant Thornton LP and Bank Director magazine, nearly four in 10 respondents said that their banks intend to grow through mergers and acquisitions. In the same survey two years ago, only 23% of bankers surveyed said that M&A was in their plans.

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