(Bloomberg) -- The Goliaths of US banking are getting even bigger after a series of regional lender failures funneled assets into giants such as JPMorgan Chase & Co., according to an analysis by S&P Global Market Intelligence.
More than 70% of aggregate asset growth in major US banks was concentrated in the 10 largest lenders, which saw a combined $630 billion increase in the first quarter — when also including assets tied to more-recent mergers and acquisitions, Gaby Villaluz and Zuhaib Gull wrote in a report this week.
JPMorgan saw its assets increase by an eye-popping 8.5% in that period, including growth tied to the May 1 acquisition of First Republic Bank, according to S&P. First Citizens BancShares Inc. saw its assets nearly double from the previously quarter, driven by its decision to buy Silicon Valley Bank. Assets at New York Community Bancorp Inc. jumped by 37% after a subsidiary took over key parts of Signature Bank, the data show.
The expansion of already-large lenders is a trend that some, including Bloomberg Intelligence regional banks equity analyst Herman Chan, expect to continue. That’s even as JPMorgan chief executive Jamie Dimon said he didn’t think the bank would have to buy up more lenders.
“Going forward, once this current banking turmoil subsides, we could potentially see a new era of M&A usher in,” Chan said. “I think you could see larger regionals combine with smaller banks just to gain that scale needed to deal with a tougher regulatory environment and a tougher earnings backdrop environment.”
The rise in total assets also comes as banks await higher capital requirements from US regulators who aim to bolster the financial system.
Large US banks may have to boost their capital by an average 20% — and a broader swath of lenders would face strict requirements for setting aside money — under a draft plan from US regulators to bolster the financial system.
The S&P analysis shows 37 of the 50 largest US banks reported increases in total assets on a quarter-over-quarter basis in the first quarter.
The nation’s top four banks — JPMorgan, Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc. and Wells Fargo & Co. — gained $499 billion in assets over the same period, according to S&P.
(Updates throughout with Jamie Dimon’s recent comments)
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