Customers, community can expect little change

The Baltimore Sun

Provident Bankshares Corp., the state's largest independent bank, agreed yesterday to sell itself to M&T; Bank, becoming the latest Baltimore financial institution to be acquired.

So what does the proposed deal mean for employees, customers and the community? Here's a look:

How will my account be affected?

Provident Bank customers should see no changes immediately. You can continue to use your account and other products as you always have.

Once the deal closes, expected in the second quarter of 2009, the two banks will undergo a conversion and integration process. Eventually, Provident's name will disappear and customers will receive new cards, checks and other products with M&T;'s name.

In many cases, account numbers will remain the same.

You will be notified of any changes by mail and other means.

Will there be job cuts?

Some layoffs are expected as the two institutions combine operations, according to banking analysts.

But M&T; officials say they expect to retain all of the Provident employees who interact with customers. The bank says other employees will receive preferential consideration for about 160 open jobs.

M&T; executives note that the bank has been expanding and hiring, filling 800 jobs in the past year, in the Mid-Atlantic region.

What happens to my shares?

Under the $401 million stock deal, Provident common shareholders will receive 0.17 shares of M&T; common stock for each share of Provident they own. That values the deal at $10.50 a share based on M&T;'s closing stock price of $61.18 Tuesday.

Provident provided $700,000 in philanthropic donations in the Baltimore region in 2007. What happens to its philanthropy?

M&T; plans to match or expand Provident's contributions in the Baltimore area for at least the next three years. Since 2003, M&T; has given $25 million in charitable donations in the Mid-Atlantic region.

What happens to Provident's Baltimore headquarters, the Provident Bank Building at 114 E. Lexington St.?

Once the transaction closes, M&T; will assume Provident's lease of the 10-story office building, where Provident is the sole tenant. A decision will be made before the lease expires in March 2012 on whether to keep the space. The building was constructed in 1928.

Baltimore Sun reporter Lorraine Mirabella contributed to this article.

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