In the investment world, growth is virtually synonymous with quality. But when it comes to banks, this isn't necessarily true. Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) is a prime example of a bank that was ultimately hurt by its acquisition strategy. In the following video, Motley Fool contributor John Maxfield notes U.S. Bancorp and KeyCorp and explains why the best banks surge in size when times are tough and hold off on aggressive growth when the economy is firing on all cylinders.

John Maxfield owns shares of Bank of America. The Motley Fool recommends Bank of America. The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America and KeyCorp. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.