Bank free or die

BARREN, dry, desolate. These are words you might choose to describe the terrain left by California’s ongoing drought. But they apply just as readily to the landscape for bank startups in America. In the 25 years before Lehman Brothers collapsed, new banks were licensed at an average rate of 164 per year. Since, the industry has been suffering a seriously arid spell. In 2011 no new banks were licensed, making it the first such year since at least 1934. When Primary Bank, based in New...

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