In brief: CEO outlines bank deal

Susquehanna Bancshares Inc. will adopt a more decentralized structure for its local bank, said William J. Reuter, Susquehanna’s president, chairman and chief executive officer.

Susquehanna Bancshares Inc. will adopt a more decentralized structure for its local bank, said William J. Reuter, Susquehanna’s president, chairman and chief executive officer.

The move comes as Lititz-based Susquehanna is acquiring Community Banks Inc., of Dauphin County, for $860 million, a deal expected to close in the fourth quarter.

Susquehanna Bank PA, the local bank, will move closer to the regional-president model of organization used by Community, Reuter said in a telephone interview May 24. Susquehanna’s subsidiary bank in Maryland already has made a similar change.

Reuter said he expects a smooth integration with Community, partly because the firms have similar cultures and use the same operating system.

He also said Susquehanna is taking steps to minimize the impact of potential layoffs, for example, by initiating a hiring freeze to hold positions open for people who could see their jobs cut.

The deal is expected to make Susquehanna the biggest bank in Lancaster County, edging out Fulton Bank in deposits.

“I’m not that hung up on being the biggest, as long as we perform well and we’re the best,” Reuter said.

“It’s gonna be fun,” he said of the

Community integration.

—David Dagan

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