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The skyline of New York's Lower Manhattan area, Oct. 1, 2012.
The skyline of New York's Lower Manhattan area, Oct. 1, 2012.
(Gary Hershorn/Reuters)

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Is the U.S. banking sector on the brink of consolidation?

In a little less than 30 years, the number of banks south of the border has fallen by half to roughly 6,300, with 450 of those publicly traded. But the next three years alone could reduce the number of publicly-traded lenders in the U.S. by a quarter.

That’s the view of Robert Wessel, managing partner at Hamilton Capital Partners, who believes there will be a healthy increase in mergers and acquisitions in the coming months that will lead to 100 primarily small– and mid-cap banks consolidating.