Expect more of the same — territory and service growth — from midstate banks this year.
“I think it started in 2014, and it will continue in 2015,” said Nick DiFrancesco, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Association of Community Bankers. “I think we’ll see more merger activity.”
Several regional banks made moves last year to expand their footprints, including Millersburg-based Mid Penn Bancorp Inc., the holding company for Mid Penn Bank.
Founded in 1868, Mid Penn has catered primarily to northern Dauphin County, Harrisburg and parts of the West Shore. In August, it announced the acquisition of Phoenix Bancorp Inc., the Schuylkill County-based parent company of Miners Bank.
The Miners Bank deal will add four branches in Schuylkill and Luzerne counties — Mid Penn’s first entry into the latter.
In November, the company announced plans to open its first Lancaster County branch in Mount Joy Township.
The Elizabethtown-area branch is expected to open in early February, while the acquisition could close by the end of the first quarter or early in the second quarter, said Rory Ritrievi, Mid Penn’s president and CEO.
Finally in position
Shareholders for both companies approved the deal Dec. 23. The agreement awaits approval from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the Federal Reserve and the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities.
“We were hoping to be in a position to make these moves for some time,” Ritrievi said, having arrived at the bank in 2009. “The opportunities were available then, but we just weren’t in a position to take advantage.”
Over the last few years, Mid Penn has improved senior management, strengthened its loan portfolio, shored up more consistent sources of noninterest income and fostered a better relationship with regulators, Ritrievi said.