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Gratz Bank receives state approval for acquisition

Gratz Financial Services Inc. has received approval from the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities and the Federal Reserve Board to acquire FNBM Financial Corp. of Minersville.

The Gratz Bank President and CEO Wesley Weymers said the company still needs approval from the Federal Deposit Insurance Co., which it expects to have in the next 10 days.

There will then be a special Gratz shareholder meeting set for sometime in mid-February. If everything goes to plan, the acquisition likely would be complete by the end of March, Weymers said in an email.

Gratz, the bank holding company for The Gratz Bank in northern Dauphin County, announced in the summer its agreement to acquire FNBM, the holding company for the First Bank of Minersville. While the bank only has one branch, that branch is one of the busiest in Schuylkill County in terms of deposits.

The deal is for about $13.4 million.

The small bank has been active in acquisitions. In addition to the FNBM merger, it completed the acquisition of Schuylkill County-based Liberty Centre Bancorp Inc. in 2014.

Bank officials have said the acquisitions are to jump-start growth so that it can have more resources to comply with new federal guidelines to regulate the banking industry.

With the acquisition, Gratz would grow to about $300 million in assets.

Michael Sadowski

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