PNC Financial Services will pay $3.62 billion for RBC Bank, the banks said Monday, allowing RBC parent Royal Bank of Canada to exit a foray into the American South that left it drenched in red ink.

"The addition of RBC Bank provides PNC a great opportunity to enter attractive Southeast markets in a way that will create value for our shareholders," James E. Rohr, PNC's chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement. "The success of our recent acquisitions demonstrates that when we bring our innovative products and services to new markets we have the proven ability to win clients and take out costs."

RBC is relatively small in big Southeastern cities such as Birmingham, Atlanta and Charlotte, N.C., and that could mean more PNC acquisitions to follow. But the path to the top in places like Birmingham is blocked by large banks, said Andreas Rauterkus, a finance professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

"I think it will be very difficult for them to break into this market and build share in the short term," he said.

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