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Banks buy up rival community lenders

Independent Bank Corp has announced its acquisition of Meridian Bancorp and Colony Bankcorp seals merger deal with SouthCrest Financial Group

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  • Written by  Banking Exchange staff
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Banks buy up rival community lenders

US community banks have continued their M&A spree, after Independent Bank Corp, parent of Rockland Trust, announced it has signed a merger agreement to acquire Meridian Bancorp, which owns East Boston Savings Bank.

Separately, Colony Bankcorp and SouthCrest Financial Group have agreed to a merger that will create Georgia’s largest community bank.

Rockland Trust is set to surpass $20 billion in assets when it acquires East Boston Savings Bank, with the deal expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Upon completion of the merger of Colony Bankcorp, the holding company for Colony Bank, and SouthCrest Financial Group, the holding company for SouthCrest Bank, Colony will have approximately $2.4 billion in assets, $1.4 billion in loans and $2 billion in deposits.

Heath Fountain, president and chief executive of Colony, said the combined assets will make it the largest community bank and the fourth largest bank based in Georgia, with the transaction expected no later than the fourth quarter of this year.

Fountain added: “We believe significant opportunities exist for continued growth as we increase our combined banks’ operational scale and bring additional resources to our new markets.”

Christopher Oddleifson, president and chief executive of Independent and chief executive of Rockland Trust, said the merger of Independent Bankcorp and Meridian Bancorp is “consistent with its strategy of acquiring banks in overlapping and adjacent markets”.

“This transaction brings together two strong banks with a long and rich history serving and investing in our local communities,” Richard J. Gavegnano, president and chief executive of East Boston Savings Bank, added.

MVB Bank has also decided to sell all of its community banking operations in Southern West Virginia to Summit Community Bank as it prepares to focus on its core commercial markets in North Central West Virginia and Northern Virginia, as well as the expansion of its fintech vertical.

The deal includes four full-service banking centers and two drive-up banking locations.

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