We find that acquirers tend to recast the target in their own image, causing the small business loan portfolio share of the consolidated bank to converge toward the pre-merger portfolio share of the acquirer. However, concerns that this pattern will necessarily reduce bank small business lending may be overblown. First, most mergers are of two (or more) small banks. Second, acquirers are almost as likely to have larger as smaller shares of small business loans in their portfolios, compared to their targets. Finally, in roughly half the mergers, small business loans increase in the period immediately after the merger.
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