The U.S. may lose about a third of its banks as the weakening economy weeds out the least healthy institutions, said John Kanas, chief executive officer of BankUnited.
“Most of us in the business think we probably need 5,000 and think we are on our way to 5,000 as this cycle, if this is a cycle, unfolds,” Kanas, 63, said today at the Bloomberg Dealmakers Summit in New York. “We simply chartered too many banks.”
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said it insured deposits at 7,830 financial institutions as of June 30. Kanas became CEO of Miami Lakes, Florida-based BankUnited last year by joining a group of private equity investors who agreed to inject about $900 million into the collapsed Florida lender. The other investors include Carlyle Group, Centerbridge Capital Partners, WL Ross & Co., and Blackstone Group LP.
“It’s not as easy as it once was when the market was going straight up and real estate values were on a straight incline,” Kanas said. “It will require people with greater experience levels and with tougher attitude toward the industry to carve out a future in this business.”
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