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Analysis: U.S. banks to pounce on fintech deals as valuations plunge

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NEW YORK, Nov 17 (Reuters) – Financial technology companies, long seen as a threat by the likes of JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N), are increasingly becoming acquisition targets for traditional U.S. banks as rising interest rates and falling valuations crimp their expansion.

The valuations of listed financial technology firms have plunged 70% in 2022, analysts at Jefferies Group said in a note last week. In the same period, the valuations of banks in the S&P 500 are down 33%, while valuations for the S&P 500 (.SPX) are down 23%, according to data from Refinitiv IBES.

Reuters Graphics

The decline presents an opportunity for Main Street banks to buy companies and beef up their technology for digital banking, online payments and other financial services and diversify beyond lending.

Huntington Bancshares Inc (HBAN.O) is one such bank. The Columbus, Ohio regional bank is scouring for more targets after it bought Torana, a payments fintech, in May.

“We may buy more on the payments side,” Huntington’s Chief Executive Officer Steve Steinour told Reuters in an interview.

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