Hometown Financial Group to expand with North Shore Bancorp merger

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In a significant move within the banking sector, Hometown Financial Group, Inc., the esteemed holding company for bankESB, bankHometown, and Abington Bank, has entered into a strategic agreement with North Shore Bancorp, the parent company of North Shore Bank. This merger is poised to significantly enhance the banking landscape in Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire, creating a combined entity with assets surpassing $3 billion and a robust network of 25 full-service retail locations.

At the heart of this merger is the amalgamation of Abington Bank into North Shore Bank, a strategic move designed to solidify the presence of both banks in Massachusetts’ North and South Shore regions as well as southern New Hampshire. Remarkably, this merger is anticipated to proceed without any branch closures or staff reductions, ensuring stability for employees and uninterrupted service for customers. Furthermore, North Shore Bank will initiate a new charitable foundation, bolstering its commitment to philanthropy alongside its existing efforts.

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Kevin M. Tierney, Sr., the current CEO of North Shore Bank, will play a pivotal role in the merged entity, taking on additional responsibilities as the president of Hometown Financial Group. Michael R. Wheeler, currently serving as the president and COO of North Shore Bank, is set to become the COO of Hometown Financial Group. This merger also marks the retirement of Andrew J. Raczka, the long-serving President and CEO of Abington Bank, celebrating his contributions to community banking.

Hometown Financial Group, Inc. to merge with North Shore Bancorp to expand banking services

Hometown Financial Group, Inc. to merge with North Shore Bancorp to expand banking services

Matthew S. Sosik, the chairman and CEO of Hometown Financial Group, expressed enthusiasm for the merger, highlighting the potential to double their presence in eastern Massachusetts. This merger is seen as a significant step in sharing Hometown Financial Group’s resources and services with a broader audience, emphasizing the synergy between local branding and operational efficiency.

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The merger promises enhanced services for customers, including access to residential mortgage products through Hometown Mortgage, an affiliate of Hometown Financial Group. It represents a fusion of two premier banking organizations aimed at enriching customer service and expanding market reach.

Upon completion, Hometown Financial Group will boast consolidated assets of approximately $6.4 billion, nearly 700 employees, and a sprawling network of 52 full-service offices across key regions. This merger, unanimously approved by the boards of the involved banks, is the seventh strategic merger for Hometown Financial Group in the last nine years, underlining its growth strategy.

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The legal and strategic aspects of the merger were supported by industry experts, with Luse Gorman, PC and Piper Sandler advising Hometown Financial Group, Inc., and Nutter McClellan & Fish LLP and Keefe Bruyette and Woods consulting for North Shore Bank. The merger, expected to close in the second half of 2024, awaits regulatory approvals and the fulfillment of customary closing conditions.

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