Eastern Bank Merging with Community Bank
The following is from a press release from Eastern Bank:
Eastern Bank and The Community Bank plan to merge by year’s end, combining their resources and building upon Eastern’s financial strength to better serve the people and businesses in southeastern Massachusetts and Cape Cod, the banks announced today.
A mutually owned bank founded in 1818, Boston-based Eastern is among the most financially successful and sound banks in New England, making it an attractive partner for The Community Bank, which is headquartered in Brockton.
“The Community Bank has a long, distinguished history of serving its communities, but in recent years the economy has taken its toll on the bank,” said Eastern Bank Chairman and CEO Richard E. Holbrook. “This partnership will enable The Community Bank to continue to meet the needs of its customers under the Eastern Bank brand, while enabling Eastern to better serve southeastern Massachusetts and the Cape.”
If approved by state and federal regulators, The Community Bank would be merged into Eastern Bank by the end of the year. The Corporators of both banks and their holding companies, Eastern Bank Corporation and Campello Bancorp, also need to approve the merger.
Eastern Bank has 94 banking offices in eastern Massachusetts, in addition to 22 Eastern Insurance offices. It has $8 billion in assets, $6.5 billion in deposits and 1,700 employees serving more than 400,000 customers with an array of banking, investment and insurance products and services. Eastern Bank donates 10 percent of its net income to the Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation, which, in 2011, donated $2.6 million to 1,200 local charities.
Founded in 1877, The Community Bank has five branches, including two in Brockton and one each in Bridgewater, Lakeville and Sandwich. As of June 30, it had $323.9 million in assets and $278.3 million in deposits. Last year, newly appointed President and CEO John J. O’Connor III implemented a restructuring plan, which included the closure of three branches, to stabilize the bank.
“We made several important decisions that improved the bank’s financial position,” O’Connor said. “In the end, however, it was clear that we needed a partner in order to meet the needs of our communities. With its financial strength and nearly 200-year history of serving Massachusetts, Eastern was by far the best choice for our customers.”
Goodwin Procter LLP served as legal counsel to Eastern Bank and K & L Gates LLP served as legal counsel to The Community Bank. Financial advisors were not used, since Eastern Bank is a mutual bank and The Community Bank is a cooperative bank, and no premium was paid.
This is the fifth time in the past 30 years that Eastern has merged with another mutual organization in Massachusetts. The last was Sharon Co-operative Bank in 2007, which was preceded by Plymouth Savings Bank in 2005.