F.N.B. Corp. has decided it won’t close any existing Metro Bank branches when it officially absorbs Metro’s Swatara Township-based holding company in February.
F.N.B. spokeswoman Jennifer Reel said the Pittsburgh-based company won’t be closing any of Metro’s 32 branches in Berks, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon or York counties when Metro becomes First National Bank of Pennsylvania Feb. 12.
Shareholders of both F.N.B. and Metro Bancorp Inc. approved the $474 million acquisition Thursday, about five months after the two sides announced the deal. Reel said 98 percent of F.N.B. shareholders voted in favor of the deal.
Tallies for Metro’s shareholders — some of whom had been publicly pushing for a sale for more than a year — were not available Friday morning. Mark Zody, Metro’s current CFO, said the company will file a document with the Securities and Exchange Commission Friday to reveal the vote count, but could not comment on it before the filing is done.
On the same weekend the deal closes, Metro will convert to F.N.B., Reel said.
Branch closure was a possibility since F.N.B. executives were open in saying they expected to shave about 40 percent from Metro’s $95 million in 2014 expenses. Those same executives admitted 40 percent was high for a merger deal, but said they believed they could get there.
Part of that 40 percent came when F.N.B. announced the layoff of 230 Metro employees. The bank had a workforce of 800 at the time of the acquisition announcement in August.
Retail branches are one of the biggest expenses in any bank’s budget, and many banks have chosen to close branches as more customers move to mobile or online banking.
F.N.B. will be acquiring the second-largest bank based in the midstate. Metro has about $3 billion in assets. After the merger, F.N.B. will have about $19.8 billion in assets.