PNC’s decision to cash out roughly $14 billion in BlackRock Inc. shares will position the Pittsburgh-based bank to be a much more aggressive buyer than it was in 2008, when it snapped up a regional rival. The cash PNC is raising exceeds the market value of almost every bank in the country that’s smaller than it is.
Across the financial industry, banks are in uncharted territory, waiting to see whether letting consumers put off payments on credit cards and mortgages will be all the help they need to eventually make good on their debts once government lockdowns ease. If that doesn’t work, firms could face a tsunami of souring loans within months. Regional banks including Ohio’s Fifth Third Bancorp and Keycorp, Rhode Island’s Citizens Financial Group Inc., Alabama’s Regions Financial Corp. and Texas’s Comerica Inc. have all lost more than 45% of their market value this year, making them cheaper already.