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Two Utah community banks set merger for 4Q

Published June 19, 2013 9:00 am

Alliance • Bank of American Fork parent, Lewiston Bancorp to combine but maintain brands.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The holding companies of two Utah community banks have agreed to merge later this year, but the names of their respective branches won't change.

People's Utah Bancorp, which owns Bank of American Fork, and Lewiston Bancorp, whose subsidiary is Lewiston State Bank, will combine in the fourth quarter, creating a single holding company with more than $1 billion in assets, the companies have announced.

Terms weren't disclosed. The boards of both companies have approved the deal, which still must be endorsed by shareholders and regulators.

Customers aren't very likely to see many changes. Bank of American Fork's 13 branches in Salt Lake, Utah and Davis counties, as well as its St. George mortgage office, will keep the old name, which dates back to 1913.

The same goes for Lewiston State Bank. The name on its four branches — in Lewiston, Logan, North Logan and Preston, Idaho, as well as a real estate office in North Logan and a loan office in Logan — won't change, either. Lewiston State Bank was established in 1905.

After the merger is completed, only one holding company name will survive — People's Utah Bancorp. The Lewiston Bancorp name will be retired.

People's Utah Bancorp has $949 million in assets and 305 employees. Its Bank of American Fork subsidiary is said to be the largest community bank in Utah.

Lewiston Bancorp has $252 million in assets and about 90 employees.

Higher expenses and lower profits arising from weak business conditions and government regulations pushed the two companies to explore a merger, Richard Beard CEO of People's Utah Bancorp and Bank of American Fork, said in a statement.

"The increase in expenses, decrease in profits and new government regulations over the past few years have made it harder for small banks to continue operating as they have done in the past. This merger is a way to decrease costs and increase efficiency so we can we maintain and strengthen our commitment to true community banking, a system that is vital to the economy, small business and Utah communities," Beard said.

pbeebe@sltrib.com

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