SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

February 14, 2014

Bank officials: No layoffs in merger

Deal brings together North Shore Bank, Saugusbank

PEABODY — North Shore Bank and Saugusbank said yesterday they have agreed to merge in a deal that combines 11 branches and $675 million in assets under the North Shore Bank name.

Saugusbank employees and directors will join those of North Shore Bank, for a total of 150 employees. Heads of both banks said there will be no layoffs or downsizing.

Officials at both banks said the deal brings together two community-oriented banks, giving the new, larger bank the opportunity to expand. The territories of both banks do not overlap.

“Together, we are greater than the sum of our parts,” said North Shore Bank President and CEO David LaFlamme.

“We can do more together than either of us can do individually,” said Saugusbank President and CEO Kevin Tierney Sr. The bank presidents said in a statement they anticipate the merger to be “a seamless transition.”

The deal did not come with any financial terms, making the agreement unique, LaFlamme said.

“There is no real money changing hands,” he said.

North Shore Bank, which has a focus on commercial lending, was established in 1888 as Peabody Cooperative Bank. It has eight branches in Beverly, Danvers, Middleton, Peabody and Salem and assets of about $475 million. Saugusbank, founded in 1911, has three branches and a loan center in Saugus with more than $200 million in assets.

“For banks to stay strong in this day and age, they have to grow their assets,” said Robert Bradford, president of the North Shore Chamber of Commerce, who viewed the deal as a positive move.

The merger will give current customers more places to bank and a larger network of ATMs, along with commercial lending services. LaFlamme said the directors of both banks are committed to the communities where the banks serve.

This merger is one of several in recent years — Beverly National Bank and Danversbank in 2010, then Danversbank and People’s United Bank in 2011 — that have reduced the number of local banks based on the North Shore.

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