Pennsylvania-based F.N.B. Corp. announced Tuesday that it plans to open a regional headquarters in downtown Baltimore as it expands in Maryland.

First National Bank, F.N.B.'s largest subsidiary, plans to open the headquarters and a branch at 300 E. Lombard St. by the end of this year, the company said. It's leased 11,000 square feet and will employ about 50 people there, the company said. The building will display the bank's logo.


F.N.B. recently announced plans to acquire BCSB, parent of Baltimore County Savings Bank, in a deal valued around $79 million and expected to close early next year. F.N.B entered the Maryland market in April when it acquired Annapolis Bancorp in Anne Arundel County, where it will continue to maintain offices.

Once the BCSB deal closes, F.N.B. will have 25 branches in Maryland. The company said it will become one of the 10 largest banks in metro Baltimore based on deposits.

F.N.B., based in Hermitage, Pa, north of Pittsburgh, has $12.6 billion in assets and more than 250 branches in Ohio, Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

"When we move into a major metropolitan market, we like to be in the center of the central business district," where businesses and other potential customers are located, said Vincent J. Delie Jr., F.N.B.'s president and CEO.

That's what the company did in Pittsburgh and Cleveland — with success, Delie said.

First National Bank, for instance, entered Pittsburgh in 2002 as the market's 34th-largest bank based on deposits. By last year, it had grown to the third-largest bank there. Employees grew from 40 to 592.

Delie said he see similarities between Pittsburgh and Baltimore.

"This will be a great base for us. We can attract talent and build out our team and hopefully continue to grow in downtown Baltimore," Delie said.

F.N.B. has already been tapping local talent. J. MacGregor Tisdale, president of First National Bank's Maryland region, and Darlene Miglioretti, the retail banking executive, are former executives with SunTrust in Baltimore, Delie said.

Putting the bank's name on a downtown building "gives them more visibility," said banking consultant Bert Ely. "It helps reinforce the argument that 'we make our decisions locally.' "

"It is a big deal," said Kirby Fowler, president of the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore, which promotes the area. "It speaks volumes about the strength of the downtown market for financial institutions."