GENEVA — A Pennsylvania financial institution is buying a Geneva-based bank.
UpState New York Bancorp Inc. — it operates the Bank of the Finger Lakes in Geneva and Penn Yan, and the Bank of Cooperstown — and Norwood Financial Corp. of Honesdale, Pa., have agreed to merge.
Norwood, which operates as Wayne Bank, is expected to pay approximately $80 million for UpState’s assets.
When the merger is complete, Norwood said it will have approximately $1.7 billion in assets and 31 offices throughout northeastern Pennsylvania, two counties in the Southern Tier, and three counties in upstate New York.
The Bank of the Finger Lakes name will be retained, the companies said.
Bank of the Finger Lakes has branches in Geneva, at 389 Hamilton St. and at 100 Main St. in Penn Yan.
Mike Briggs, president of UpState, which was founded in 2007, said the purchase — it requires a number of regulatory approvals — should be complete in either June or July.
“These guys (at Norwood) are pros,” Briggs said Friday. “I expect (the merger) to go well.”
Briggs, who said UpState was “looking at a variety of different options strategically for the banks,” knew Norwood President and Chief Executive Officer Lewis Critelli, whom he called “a high-quality guy.” The two banks began discussions and a deal resulted, Briggs explained.
“They want to grow this Finger Lakes market,” said Briggs while suggesting that new Bank of Finger Lakes sites might emerge.
In a press release announcing the merger agreement, Briggs said the “added depth and breadth of the merged companies will enable us to enhance the customer experience through greater product offerings and provide career growth for our employees while delivering value for our shareholders.”
“(The) merger will give us a presence in the upstate New York counties of Ontario, Otsego and Yates,” Critelli said. “This acquisition will offer expanded products and services to the USNY Bank customer base and will extend our reach from the Southern Tier of New York to upstate New York.”
Under the terms of the agreement, unanimously approved by the boards of directors at both companies, Norwood will acquire all of the outstanding shares of UpState. In addition, the companies said, USNY Bank will merge with and into Wayne Bank, with Wayne Bank as the surviving entity.
Critelli will serve as president and CEO of the combined company. Briggs said he will stay on as a consultant for sixth months ahead of his planned retirement.
Norwood will retain the Bank of Cooperstown name as well, as well as USNY’s administration center in Geneva.
“They want to keep people in Geneva with meaningful roles,” Briggs said. “The idea (with the merger) was to make sure our customers and our employees are taken care of.”
Jeff Franklin, president of Bank of the Finger Lakes, will remain, as will Scott White, unit president of Bank of Cooperstown.
As of Sept. 30, 2019, UpState had total assets of $435.9 million.