Morgan Stanley Looking For Bank Acquisitions

Cue the outrage: Bailout recipient Morgan Stanley (MS) is still looking to use some of its cash for acquisitions, rather than lending it out.

WSJ: It probably won’t be “stocks and socks” all over again, but Morgan Stanley is revving up its push into retail banking.

Two months after converting to a bank-holding company, executives at the New York firm are considering a variety of scenarios to increase deposits, including acquisitions of regional banks with a customer base that overlaps with Morgan Stanley’s existing brokerage and asset-management clients.

The plans don’t sound particularly developed. The rest of the article goes on to cite what a number of analysts think Morgan Stanley should do, like look for banks that naturally complement the company’s existing retail infrastructure (easier said than done) and not buy sprawling banks that have little connection to the company. Some think Morgan Stanley is likely to buy several small-to-medium sized banks, but again, that’s all coming from analyts tossing their $.02 in.

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