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BB&T buy shrinks assets at Pa. banks by nearly 7 percent

The loss of Susquehanna Bank has knocked bank assets held by Pennsylvania-based banks down to their lowest level since the end of 2013, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Total assets for Pennsylvania-based banks were reported to be $221.6 billion at the end of the third quarter, according to the FDIC’s Pennsylvania profile. That was the lowest level since 2013, when assets ended the year at $217.7 billion.

The loss of assets isn’t much more than a technicality, according to William Snell, president and CEO of Chambersburg-based F&M Trust Co.

But the merger trend — which accounted for two more banks disappearing in the state in the quarter — is far more troubling to Snell. He said that in the next three to five years, there could be about half the banks there are now.

“It’s not slowing down,” he said.

The dip in assets, a 6.7 drop percent from the end of the second quarter, is attributable to BB&T Corp.’s acquisition of Susquehanna Bancshares Inc., the formerly Lititz-based parent company of Susquehanna Bank. BB&T, based in North Carolina, absorbed Susquehanna’s assets of $18.6 billion.

The FDIC reported the state’s banks dropped about $16.1 billion in assets from the end of the second quarter.

There likely will be further drops in 2016. BB&T also has agreed to acquire National Penn Bancshares Inc. of Allentown; WSFS Financial Corp. of Delaware announced in November it will acquire Penn Liberty Financial Corp. of Wayne.

National Penn has about $9.6 billion in assets, and Penn Liberty has about $649.4 million — a further loss of about $10.3 billion in assets.

In the report for the fourth quarter of 2015, there also will be the loss of $420.8 million in assets. WSFS completed its acquisition of Alliance Bancorp of Penn of Broomall in October, just after the end of the third quarter.

Michael Sadowski

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