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Central Virginia Bankshares Incorporated

Is Maryland headed for a wave of bank mergers?

Is Maryland headed for a wave of bank mergers?

In less than a week, three bank acquisitions, one involving the parent of Baltimore County Savings Bank, have been announced in the Mid-Atlantic region.

The burst of activity suggests the start of a long-anticipated wave of mergers.

"The industry has been anticipating a tipping point in regards to mergers and acquisitions," said Anita Newcomb, a Columbia-based banking consultant. "Still, it's difficult to say if this is the tipping point."

At the end of March, Maryland had 77 banks, and only 14 had assets of at least $500 million, a size that many banking experts say is needed to thrive in a climate with increasing regulation and stiff competition....