While some banking companies continue to hoard capital, Bank of New York Mellon Corp.’s top executive said expansion remains its top priority. But some analysts said its latest deal is clearly a defensive move to box out Northern Trust Corp. from becoming a top competitor in asset servicing.

BNY Mellon [BK] announced Tuesday a definitive agreement to buy PNC Financial Services Group Inc.’s [PNC] Global Investment Servicing Inc. business unit for $2.31 billion. The unit provides custody, fund accounting, transfer agency and outsourcing services for asset managers and financial advisors.

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