2009-03-12 / Front Page

FNBG, Graystone Merger Approved

Combined banks will have assets of $1.2 billion
By Lindsay R. Mellott STAFF WRITER

Shareholders of the parent companies of the The First National Bank of Greencastle (FNBG), which operates in Fulton County, and Graystone Bank, based in Harrisburg, Pa., voted last Wednesday to approve a merger between the two banks.

Both banks said the merger will not affect products or services to customers.

The combined institutions will have assets of $1.2 billion and more than 300 employees at 25 branches in southcentral Pennsylvania once the merger is completed in April, pending receipt of regulatory approvals.

FNBG is a subsidiary of Tower Bancorp Inc., and Graystone Financial Corp. is the parent company of Graystone Bank.

The two banks will continue operating under their established brands but will also be listed as divisions of Graystone Tower Bank. They will be controlled by Tower Bancorp.

"The shareholders of Tower Bancorp Inc. and Graystone Financial Corp. have positively endorsed this combination which is in the best interests of all concerned," said Jeffrey Shank, president and CEO of Tower Bancorp. "The board, management and employees of The First National Bank of Greencastle feel that this transaction will positively impact employees, customers, shareholders and our communities we serve."

Shank and Andrew Samuel, chairman and CEO of Graystone Financial Corp., said in a joint statement that "their respective customers will continue to receive the same high level of services and products from the familiar faces at their existing locations."

"We remain focused on supporting local communities, and our customers will continue to be served by the same people that they have come to know and trust at our branches," said Shank.

The planned merger was announced in November 2008, less than three years after the more than 100-year-old and locally owned First National Bank of McConnellsburg became the McConnellsburg branch of the Greencastle bank.

Shank said then that "because there are no overlapping branches and markets, no branch closings of either banking institution are planned." However, both bank presidents conceded that "after an initial evaluation period, some duplicating positions may require streamlining."

Samuel characterized the partnership in the Wednesday announcement as "revenue driven" and said, "We are excited to be able to join the rich heritage of The First National Bank of Greencastle and The First National Bank of McConnellsburg with Graystone Bank."

The merger names Samuel president and CEO of Tower Bancorp and Shank executive vice president of Tower Bancorp and president and CEO of Tower Bank, a division of Graystone Tower Bank.

Graystone Bank was founded in 2005 and has nine branches in six counties, including Centre, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon and York.

The First National Bank of Greencastle was founded in 1864. It is the oldest independent bank in the region and has 16 branches operating in Franklin and Fulton counties and Washington County, Md.

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