Yet another wave of bank ownership changes has hit the Southeast. Pittsburg-based PNC Financial Corporation has entered into an agreement to purchase RBC Bank. PNC is the sixth-largest U.S. bank by deposits.
PNC traces its history back to the Pittsburgh Trust and Savings Company which was founded in 1852. The bank changed its name to First National Bank of Pittsburgh in 1863, after it became the first bank to receive a national charter as part of that year’s National Banking Act.
After a 1982 merger, the new entity we know today as PNC Financial Corporation was formed.
Then just a few weeks ago, PNC agreed to purchase RBC Bank from Royal Bank of Canada for $3.45 billion. With over 400 branches, RBC has a significant presence in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Florida. Of these states, PNC has existing branches only in Florida.
The acquisition allows PNC to enter attractive markets in the Southeast. Once the acquisition and conversion are complete, all existing RBC locations will be rebranded as PNC branches. This acquisition fills a gap in PNC’s market footprint between Virginia and central Florida.
PNC was recently rumored to be interested in acquiring Alabama-based Regions Bank. But the purchase of RBC may satisfy the Pittsburg bank’s appetite for a Southeastern footprint.
PNC is highly rated as “Sound” by BankRate.com, a national rating service which ranks bank by financial strength. RBC Bank is rated lower as “Below peer group” which is BankRate’s next to lowest rating. RBC Bank has reported eleven straight quarterly losses as of March 31, with cumulative red ink of over $3 billion since 2007.
RBC Bank is the United States division of the Royal Bank of Canada. The U.S. headquarters are located in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Barry Steiner is branch manager of RBC Bank in downtown Mobile, Alabama “We’re embracing the development with open arms,” he said. “I think it will be a wonderful thing for the city and for the bank. PNC is well known and well respected north of here. We have some great people here at RBC,” he continued, “and I think it will be a good fit.”
RBC traces its Alabama area lineage back to Mobile-based American National Bank. Sometime in the 1980s, American National was acquired by AmSouth Bank. Then in 2006, AmSouth was bought by Regions. The AmSouth branches that were duplicative of Regions’ existing locations were sold to RBC Bank of the Canadian-based banking group. If that isn’t enough to give you insomnia, now PNC owns RBC.
Writing online after RBC took over AmSouth, one anonymous Google reviewer said, “They took a good bank and ruined it. This was a great bank, good people. RBC bought it and ruined it. We don’t care how you do it in Canada.”
Perhaps the author of this critical review will be more pleased with how they do it in Pittsburg.