Bank regulators approve Howard Bank's purchase of 1st Mariner

The Baltimore Sun

Howard Bancorp expects to close its acquisition of 1st Mariner Bank on Feb. 28 after receiving all the needed approvals from banking regulators.

The parent of Howard Bank announced the $163.4 million acquisition of 1st Mariner Bank in August, creating the Baltimore area's largest locally based bank with more than $2 billion in assets.

On March 1, after the deal closes, 1st Mariner customers will become Howard Bank customers.

Howard Bank plans to relocate its headquarters from Ellicott City to 1st Mariner’s office in Canton, making the combined institution Baltimore-based.

The deal significantly expands Howard Bank’s presence in Baltimore. As the two banks combine, about six overlapping branches — out of a combined 27 — face closure and some employees will be laid off. But the merger positions Howard Bank to compete with regional and national banks at a time when smaller banks are struggling.

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