In 1996, Wells Fargo merged with First Interstate Bank in a deal worth $11.3 billion. At the time, the deal set a record for the most expensive purchase of a U.S. bank. Two years later, a $140 billion merger between Citicorp and Travelers Group created the current Citigroup network.
The 1998 merger between Bank America and Nations Bank helped Bank of America become a dominant player in the financial industry due to its new value of $570 billion and network of more than 4,000 branches. Chase Manhattan Bank acquired J.P. Morgan in 2000 for an estimated $30 billion in stock. The bank also changed its name to J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. to retain the brand recognition of both entities after the merger.
The 2008 U.S. economic crisis led to an active round of mergers between some of the country's largest financial institutions. Bank of America acquired Countrywide mortgage for $4.1 billion and Merrill Lynch for $50 billion worth of stock. Wells Fargo took over the struggling Wachovia Bank for $14.8 billion to gain access to the southern and eastern U.S. markets. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. acquired Bear Stearns for $10 per share, a significant drop from Bear Stearns' 52-week high of $133.20 per share.