Clients of J.P. Morgan and Bank One were upbeat on the $58 billion acquisition, despite some concerns banking consolidation may lead to tighter lending. "Certainly this may tighten up sources of capital [from a lending perspective] for companies like ours," said Christopher Colville, cfo of Consolidated Graphics, a middle-market company that has strong lending relationships with both banks. "It has not been my experience of past mergers that a bigger balance sheet necessarily means they will increase their allocations," he said.
But Colville also added that "J.P. Morgan is a leader in the capital markets and Bank One in commercial lending. My expectation is that it will be business as usual with Bank One, with the power of J.P. Morgan enhancing the relationship."
"From our perspective, I don't think it will affect us," stated Jim Radosevich, v.p. of corporate finance at Clark Consulting. Bank One recently completed a new credit facility for the Illinois-based firm that provides benefits, compensation and funding services to corporations, and has an investment banking relationship with J.P. Morgan. "In the very short term, as they are gelling there may be hesitation over new things, but my personal perspective is that there has already been a tight [lending] market. Banks have been more selective for several years and they will continue to do so," he said.
There is a good synergy between the two, Radosevich noted. "This is a real good fit with not a lot of overlap and we will ultimately benefit," he stated. "We're enthusiastic about the merger. The range of services that each bank has particular strengths in will be in one source and we will be able to tap all their individual strengths," Colville reiterated. Bank One made $63 billion of loans last year with a strong middle-market presence and J.P. Morgan made $336 billion of loans, according to Thomson Financial data.