Santander Bank selling 14 Pennsylvania branches to First Commonwealth Bank

Santander Bank is undertaking a strategy to focus on markets that it believes will drive growth in the future, and part of that strategy apparently includes selling off some of its bank branches.

The company announced Monday that it is selling 14 branches in Pennsylvania to First Commonwealth Bank.

According to the companies, the branches are located in State College, Lock Haven, Williamsport, South Williamsport, Lewisburg, Danville, Montoursville, Beech Creek, Jersey Shore, Milton, Muncy, and Renovo.

The branches have approximately $525 million in deposits and $120 million in retail and business loans, as of March 31, 2019.

For Santander, the deal allows the company to shift its focus to other markets.

“Santander is proud to have served these communities in central Pennsylvania for more than a decade,” said Michael Cleary, co-president of Santander Bank, and head of consumer and business banking.

“We are pleased to reach this agreement with First Commonwealth – a mission-driven community bank that shares our values of providing excellent service to our customers and a great work environment for our team members,” Cleary added. “We look forward to working with them to provide a seamless transition and service experience for our customers, employees and the community.”

As for First Commonwealth, the company said that the acquisitions allow the bank to expand its Pennsylvania footprint by adding approximately 22,000 retail and small business households.

“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,” First Commonwealth CEO T. Michael Price said.

“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,” Price continued.   

“The deposits that we are acquiring with these branches provide low-cost, stable funding that will immediately improve our profitability and, more importantly, allow us to continue the steady pace of our loan growth in the face of a competitive deposit market,” Price concluded. “This transaction is similar in size and scope to the four low-risk transactions that we have completed in recent years, each of which has exceeded our expectations.”

The companies expect the deal to close in the third quarter of this year.