This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Greek Crisis May Put California Bank in Play

Stocks in this article: BNP.PA ING HBC BBT USB RY

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- BNP Paribas (BNP) may be forced to sell Bank of the West, California's fifth largest bank, as the European debt crisis continues to create problems for the French banking giant.

Moody's Investors Service put BNP, Credit Agricole and Societe Generale on review for downgrade this week citing their large exposure to Greek debt as the country struggles to avoid defaulting on its debt.

Greek woes has worsened this week as Standard & Poor's cut the country's debt rating to triple-C--its worst rating for any country in the world.

BNP spokeswoman Isabelle Wolff wrote via email that the bank has no comment regarding Bank of the West, though she argues the bank's exposure to Greece is "negligible," at EUR5 billion in government bonds and exposure to Greek banks is also "negligible." In all, exposure to the country represents just 0.6% of BNP Paribas' total commitments, according to Wolff.'

One former investment banker who spent some 20 years advising on U.S. bank M&A argues U.S. Bancorp (USB) would be a logical buyer for Bank of the West, which has some $58 billion in assets . A U.S. Bancorp spokesman declined to comment.

U.S. bank M&A has been slow this year, and just three big assets are reported to be in play. All of these involve non-U.S. banks exiting U.S. businesses. The assets for sale include HSBC (HBC)'s credit card business and ING Groep (ING)'s U.S. online bank, both of which are being pursued by Capital One (COF). The other big asset is Royal Bank of Canada (RY) U.S. operations, for which BB&T (BBT) is thought to be the most likely bidder. RBC's U.S. bank, based in Raleigh, N.C., is less than half the size of Bank of the West, with just over $27 billion in assets.

-- Written by Dan Freed in New York.

Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 18,030.21 +6.04 0.03%
S&P 500 2,081.88 -0.29 -0.01%
NASDAQ 4,773.4720 +8.0480 0.17%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs