Webster Bank merger approved by regulators
Federal banking regulators have signed off on the merger between one of Connecticut’s largest homegrown banks, Webster Financial Corp., and Sterling Bancorp, the two partners in the deal said Monday.
The $10 billion all-stock merger was announced in April. The closing of the deal is scheduled to occur sometime around Feb. 1, officials with the two companies said in a statement Monday.
But when asked for further details about the merger, including whether there would be layoffs as a result or any branch closures, Alice Ferreira, a Webster spokesperson, said, “we are focused on the good news of receiving final regulatory approval.”
“We will have more information as we get closer to operating as a combined company,” Ferreira said in an email sent to Hearst Connecticut Media.
When the deal closes, the combined company will have approximately $65.5 billion in assets, $42 billion in loans and $54 billion in deposit balances, as of Sept. 30, and will operate more than 200 financial centers in the Northeast region.
The soon-to-be combined company will be based in Stamford. Ferreira told Hearst Connecticut Media last month Webster’s Waterbury offices would retain “some headquarters functions,” although she declined to provide details.
John Carusone, president of the Bank Analysis Center, a Hartfordbased industry consulting firm, said while a merger of equals can “create value to shareholders,” it’s also important for the two financial institutions “to hit the ground running, lay all of their cards on the table in terms who has what responsibilities and how some of them might be changing.”
“There’s a plethora of things that can go wrong if they are not careful,” Carusone said. “There can be an incompatibility of corporate cultures, there can be an incompatibility of computer systems and customers can be unhappy as a result. And competitors are going to be nipping at their heels, trying to take some of their market share.”
Carusone estimated headquarters staff of the combined banks will be between 25 and 50 people.