Bank buying insurance firm
By LAURA ERNDE
A Frederick, Md.-based bank is purchasing Keller-Stonebraker Insurance, the start of what could be a Tri-State-area trend toward merging the two industries.
F&M Bancorp has signed a letter of intent to buy the insurance agency, officials announced Monday.
The acquisition is believed to be the first of its kind in the area.
Banks all over the country have been trying to offer one-stop shopping for mutual funds, insurance, checking accounts and other financial services.
Insurance agencies benefit by the ability to market insurance to the bank's customer base, said John Schnebly, co-owner of Keller-Stonebraker.
The insurance industry has been in a "merger mode" for decades, Schnebly said.
When his father, Lewis A. Schnebly Jr., bought the business in the early 1950s, there were dozens of insurance agencies in Hagerstown.