The wave of mergers, acquisitions and consolidations in the financial industry since 1994 changed the spatial environment. This paper investigates features of core and peripheral metropolitan areas in Ohio. From a spatial perspective, the Cleveland metropolitan area possesses financial characteristics more closely matched to those of a high-end benchmark financial- core such as Charlotte, North Carolina than to those of medium-size MSAs within the state. Findings suggest that medium-size MSAs are unlikely to be financial-core areas and that they are not evolving in that direction. Although peripheral areas lack a comparative advantage for developing depth and breath of financial services and are subject to a retailing function from large out-of-market institutions, there was no explicit evidence of funds drainage from medium- size peripheral areas because of compliance with the Community Reinvestment Act.


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