First Commonwealth to acquire 14 Santander Bank branches | TribLIVE.com
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Stephen Huba

Indiana-based First Commonwealth Bank announced it is buying 14 branches of Santander Bank in central Pennsylvania.

First Commonwealth, which also has been in growth mode in Ohio, last week applied to the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities for approval to purchase assets and assume liabilities for the branches located in State College, Lock Haven, Williamsport and Lewisburg.

Those branches comprised approximately $525 million of deposits and $120 million of retail and business loans as of March 31.

The acquisition provides First Commonwealth with the opportunity to expand its Pennsylvania footprint by adding approximately 22,000 retail and small business households, according to parent company First Commonwealth Financial Corp.

“The contiguous expansion of our footprint into these new towns, which have complementary demographics and culture to our core Western Pennsylvania markets, makes perfect sense for us. These branches have a long history as community bank branches. We look forward to improving the financial lives of our new neighbors and businesses in these communities,” First Commonwealth CEO T. Michael Price said.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close in the third quarter of 2019.

Santander Bank, North America, is based in Boston. It has more than 600 branches and 2.1 million customers in eight states across the Northeast. Parent company Banco Santander, headquartered in Madrid, Spain, bought Boston-based Sovereign Bank in 2009.

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