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Hagerstown Trust to merge with The Columbia Bank

September 17, 2008

HAGERSTOWN -- Hagerstown Trust on Tuesday announced plans to merge with its sister bank, The Columbia Bank, which also is owned by Fulton Financial Corp., company officials said in a news release.

After the merger, which is expected to be finalized late next year, Hagerstown Trust will operate as "Hagerstown Trust, a Division of The Columbia Bank," Hagerstown Trust President and Chief Operating Officer Louis J. Giustini said. Giustini will continue to serve as president of that division, he said.

"We will be able to continue to bring our relationship-oriented community style of banking to our customers while providing them with the increased financial resources associated with a larger financial services company," Donald R. Harsh Jr., chairman of Hagerstown Trust's board of directors, said in the release.

After the merger, Hagerstown Trust customers will be able to access all of The Columbia Bank's locations throughout a nine-county service area covering Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Cecil, Frederick, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George's and Washington counties in Maryland and Franklin County in Pennsylvania, officials said.

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Those include the branches of The Peoples Bank of Elkton, another Fulton Financial Corp. bank, which operates two branches in Cecil County and will merge with The Columbia Bank at the same time, officials said.

Hagerstown Trust, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary, operates 11 branches in Washington County and a loan production office in Franklin County, officials said.

Harsh said Hagerstown Trust has been looking to increase its business in Maryland, and the agreement will enable the three banks to work together as they expand into new communities.

After the banks merge, the total assets of The Columbia Bank will grow to about $2.4 billion, The Columbia Bank President and CEO John A. Scaldara Jr. said.

The merger is subject to approval by bank regulatory authorites and is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2009, company officials said.

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