The investment banker Emmett J. Daly pinpointed the reason there have not been more bank deals: renewed jitters about jobs and real estate have meddled with pricing.

"The weak economy has broadened the gap between what a buyer and seller perceive to be fair value of assets," Daly, a principal in the investment banking group of Sandler O'Neill & Partners LP, said in an interview. "When the economy finally gets back on its feet, that difference of opinion over fair value will narrow and you will see more deals done."

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