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Bank M&A Complicated by Failures

"Things are either going to be squeaky clean, or if there is a chance for some indigestion -- meaning there are some challenges to the acquisition -- the regulators are making sure the acquirer has the ability to work out those issues," Kaplan says. "You still have your healthy deals going on."

On the other hand, bankers -- particularly sellers -- in this semi-post crisis environment also have somewhat unrealistic expectations of how fast a deal can get done, others say.

Banks are either "misjudging the regulatory environment or, one of the parties for the deal needed to do the deal quickly," MacDonald says.

"The regulators are asking harder, more probing questions and to a certain extent the regulators may be doing less at the regional levels and more is going to Washington and that equals time delay," MacDonald says. "They're getting more input from Washington ... [so] that there is consistency throughout the system. It's not a problem. It's the attitude in the current environment that you can't be too cautious."

Some banks, at risk of leaving their branches, customers and employees exposed during a time of uncertainty during an acquisition, are deciding to throw in the towel instead of leaving the company further at risk.

"We just got to the point where the regulatory approval -- we had not gotten it -- and neither company could continue on in that state of limbo," says John Presley, managing director and CEO of First Capital. Presley declined to comment further on the termination of the deal.
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