First bank merger in Utah since 2008 recession

People’s Utah Bancorp and Lewiston Bancorp merger closes

Lewiston State Bank President and CEO Anthony Hall (left) and People’s Utah Bancorp President and CEO Richard Beard (right) after the merger was approved.

People’s Utah Bancorp and Lewiston Bancorp have merged their holding companies—the first bank merger in Utah since before the 2008 recession. The merger closed today, October 18, following approval by regulatory agencies, shareholders of Lewiston and both boards of directors.

“The People’s Utah Bancorp and Lewiston Bancorp merger is the first unassisted merger in Utah since Far West Bank was acquired by American West Bancorp in 2007,” said Tom Bay, supervisor of banks, Utah Department of Financial Institutions. “Smaller banks are seeing their burden increase. They feel like they survived the downturn just to be hit in the gut with what they feel is an increasing regulatory environment. Mergers can be a way of using economies of scale to help with the increased fixed costs of doing business. Utah is not like California or other states with many banks and a lot of merger activity going on, so it’s harder to see a trend here, but I would not be surprised to see more mergers in Utah going forward.”

“The purpose of this merger is to ensure that both banks are able to continue the highly personal service that each has provided for a hundred years or more in an economic and regulatory environment that makes it hard for community banks to compete,” said Richard Beard, president and CEO of People’s Utah Bancorp. “We wanted to figure out a way to help community banks come together and preserve what is good about the system. This merger combines years of community banking commitment and experience under one roof.”

In June, the companies jointly announced an agreement to merge their holding companies and operate their bank subsidiaries, Bank of American Fork and Lewiston State Bank, under People’s Utah Bancorp. The merger was dependent on various regulatory approvals and a shareholder vote in favor of the transaction. All of those were obtained by October 15. The closing occurred today.

As of September 30, 2013, People’s Utah Bancorp had approximately 320 employees, $1 billion in assets, loans of $643 million, deposits of $900 million and equity of $120 million. Lewiston had approximately 90 employees, $257 million in assets, loans of $180 million, deposits of $223 million and equity of $28 million.  The combined holding company now operates under the name People’s Utah Bancorp and has approximately $1.2 billion in assets.  Bank of American Fork, with 14 locations in Utah, and Lewiston State Bank, with four locations in Utah and Idaho, will continue to operate under their respective names. Customers of both banks will continue to receive the personal, friendly service from bank staff they have come to know and trust.

“Between our two banks there are more than 200 years of combined banking experience,” Beard said.  “The community values and traditions that both banks share makes this partnership work for the organizations, employees, customers and communities we serve. Blending the talented management and staff of both banks helps put People’s Utah Bancorp in a clear position as Utah’s community bank leader in service, asset size and deposit size. This combination will help grow and foster the local community banking system that is vital to the economy, small businesses and Utah communities.”

“I am pleased with the working relationships between the two banks and the enhanced ability both will have to serve our respective customers,” said Anthony J. Hall, president and CEO of Lewiston State Bank and chairman of Utah Bankers Association. “We will maintain our name and local presence going forward. We look forward to the benefits from developing a statewide community banking group. The merger offers many benefits for our shareholders, our employees, and most importantly, our customers.”

People’s Utah was advised in the transaction by D.A. Davidson & Co., as financial advisor. Lewiston was advised by Sandler O’Neill + Partners, L.P., as financial advisor.

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