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Home Savings CEO explains what bank merger will mean for Valley customers

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Gary Small said the combined resources will total over $6 billion in assets

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – A recent announcement was made that will affect one of the Mahoning Valley’s leading banks.

Home Savings Bank will be merging with First Defiance Financial Corp.

Gary Small, the president and CEO of Home Savings Bank, said the merger is all about combining the separate strengths of the two Ohio companies and is not your typical bank merger.

“It’s a true statement that the geographic footprints are separate and distinct, which means there will be no branch closures or any of the things when you typically have an in-market acquisition of two banks,” Small said.

On Monday, First Defiance Financial Corp. and United Community Financial Corp. announced a strategic merger. Home Savings Bank is a subsidiary of United Community Financial Corp.

“Together, the organization will have more resources in both terms of human capital and just money to be spent for bringing in better technology, better services and better banking benefits to our customer base,” Small said.

The combined resources will total over $6 billion in assets. It includes operations in Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Michigan and Indiana.

But, the merger may go unnoticed by the average customer.

“This is going to be pretty much a non-event, relative to the customer interaction that they are used to meeting with,” Small said.

But for shareholders, Home Savings Bank will get a small percentage of shares in First Defiance Financial Corp., which was valued at $473 million as of Friday.

The closing between the two firms will be done in January or February and if everything passes federal regulators, the new organization will be operating by the second quarter of 2020.

As for the name of the new organization, it is still to be determined.

Home Savings Bank has been around for 130 years and First Defiance Financial Corp. will soon be celebrating 100 years of banking. So, both companies have some time to come up with a new name before the merger is official.

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