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Susquehanna OKs consolidation of three subsidiaries

September 06, 2008|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN - Susquehanna Bancshares Inc. has approved the consolidation of its three banking subsidiaries, including Susquehanna Bank Hagerstown, into one subsidiary.

The move is being made to improve customer service and to save money, Stephen Trapnell, a spokesman for Susquehanna Bancshares Inc., said Friday.

About 70 of the company's 3,400 employees will lose their jobs as a result of the consolidation, Trapnell said. Two people will lose their jobs in Washington County, he said.

The consolidation is expected to be completed in early October.

"We're maintaining all 235-plus locations we have," Trapnell said. "This (consolidation) is to pull them all together ... And to make it easier for customers."

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Susquehanna Bancshares Inc. is the umbrella company of Susquehanna Bank and two other subsidiaries - Susquehanna Bank PA, which is headquartered in Lancaster, Pa., and Susquehanna Bank DV in Camden, N.J., Trapnell said.

After the consolidation, the resulting Pennsylvania state-chartered bank will include all 235 Susquehanna Bank locations in central and eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, Maryland and West Virginia. Today, those markets are served by three separate affiliate banks.

All of the banks will be known as Susquehanna Banks when the consolidation is complete.

Trapnell said the consolidation is expected to cost about $7 million before taxes in the third quarter, but it should save the bank about $19 million next year.

"Combining our banks into a single subsidiary enhances our ability to offer customers the most efficient, convenient and consistent service," William J. Reuter, chairman and chief executive officer of Susquehanna Bancshares, said in a prepared release. "Customers will be able to conduct their banking business at any of our branches as they travel throughout the mid-Atlantic region."

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