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Glacier Adds WA-Based Bank as Senate Eyes Tighter M&A Rules

The Montana Bank is to make its 13th acquisition in the space of 10 years

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  • Written by  Banking Exchange staff
Glacier Adds WA-Based Bank as Senate Eyes Tighter M&A Rules

Montana-headquartered Glacier Bancorp is set to acquire Community Financial Group (CFG) in a deal worth approximately $80.6 million.

CFG, based in Washington, had $754 million in assets, $475 million in loans, and $609 million in deposits as of June 30, 2023.

The merger is expected to conclude in the fourth quarter of this year, pending regulatory and shareholder approval.

CFG’s banking subsidiary, Wheatland Bank, will become a new bank division within the Glacier group. Wheatland’s president and CEO Susan Horton will remain as leader of this division, and Glacier’s existing Washington-based division, North Cascades Bank, will be integrated into the new entity.

Glacier has 17 banking divisions operating in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

Randy Chesler, Glacier’s president and CEO, highlighted the alignment of market presence and community focus between Glacier and CFG. “This acquisition continues our history of consistently adding high quality community banks to our proven banking model,” Chesler stated.

Horton added that the deal could bolster Wheatland Bank’s influence and resources while maintaining its local legacy.

This latest bank combination comes as a group of prominent US Democrat senators, led by Sherrod Brown, chair of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, has written to Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell and vice chair for supervision Michael Barr, calling for a review of the Fed’s approach to large-scale bank mergers.

Senators Jack Reed, Elizabeth Warren, and John Fetterman joined Senator Brown in raising concerns that the Fed had yet to introduce any bank merger rules or guidance relating to financial stability.

The letter follows the recent failures of Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank, Credit Suisse, and First Republic, which the senators said exposed vulnerabilities in the financial sector.

They emphasized the need for a more robust evaluation process and called for “real changes to the bank merger process to protect financial stability and ensure that we have a fair and competitive banking system that serves all communities”.

The legislators highlighted the importance of a banking system that prioritizes consumers, smaller institutions, and overall financial security.

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