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Pa. bank agrees to take F&M Hancock accounts

April 07, 2004|by JULIE E. GREENE and ANDREW SCHOTZ

julieg@herald-mail.com
andrews@herald-mail.com

HANCOCK - First National Bank of McConnellsburg has agreed to take over the customer accounts at Farmers & Merchants Bank and Trust's Hancock branch for an undisclosed amount, according to a news release issued by F&M's parent company, Susquehanna Bancshares Inc.

The targeted closing date for the 6 E. Main St. branch of F&M Bank and Trust is July 16, officials representing both banks said. The banks are awaiting state and federal regulatory approval of the deal, which could take months, said Robert E. Ernst II, F&M Bank and Trust's president and chief executive officer.

Ernst said distance was the main reason for the transaction. F&M Bank and Trust's main markets are Hagerstown and Cumberland, Md., and the Hancock branch is "halfway between, but not closer to either one," he said.

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F&M Bank & Trust will keep the loan business from its Hancock branch, while FNB will take over the accounts and safety deposit boxes, said Janet Kemmet, a marketing and public relations consultant for FNB.

The deal involves approximately $14.5 million in deposits, according to an FNB filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Customers of the F&M Bank and Trust in Hancock will be able to go to FNB's branch in town called Hancock Community Bank, branch manager Angela Hager said. The bank is at 343 N. Pennsylvania Ave.

Customers who want to stay with F&M Bank and Trust can transfer to another branch. Ernst said the closest branches to Hancock probably would be on Salem Avenue or at Valley Mall in Washington County the branch in Martinsburg, W.Va.

Ernst said the banks need to work out details.

F&M Bank and Trust is expected to send the initial correspondence about the changes to its customers, Kemmet said. Officials with both banks want to ensure the transition is smooth for customers, she said.

FNB has been in the Hancock market for a while, so it makes sense for it to take over those accounts, Kemmet said.

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