2 Butler County banks will merge: What does that mean for customers?

Customers at two Butler County banks that are merging won’t see significant changes, according to their chief executive officers.

Valley Central Bank, with a location in Liberty Twp., and American Savings Bank, with two Middletown locations, recently signed a definitive merger agreement, according to a news release.

Based on financial data as of Sept. 30, 2018, the combined banking institution would have total assets of approximately $154.2 million, net loans of $127.2 million and total deposits of $106.3 million upon completion of the merger expected to be finalized during the second half of this year, according to the release.

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Since Valley Central and American Savings are considered “small banks,” the merger will allow them to eventually offer more products and services to their customers, said Joanna L. Gaynor, CEO of Valley Central.

Gaynor called the merger “a perfect fit.”

“We don’t see a downside,” she said.

Her counterpart at American Savings, Fred G. DeBiasi, agreed.

“We only see positives,” he said. “It just made sense.”

DeBiasi said the two branches in Middletown, 4455 Roosevelt Blvd., and 701 N. University Blvd., will remain open, all staff will be retained and customers will have the same rights. The merger also will “strengthen the footprint” at American Savings because its customers can bank at Valley Central’s locations, 6550 Princeton Glendale Road in Liberty Twp. and 115 W. Benson St. in Reading.

In a year or so, DeBiasi said the name of American Savings will be changed to Valley Central.

DeBiasi said he and Gaynor and their board of directors have been discussing a potential merger for about three years. He called the negotiations “very pedestrian,” but in the end, the best decision for the financial institutions and their customers.

Valley Central Bank had total consolidated assets of approximately $111.4 million and equity of $27.6 million, as of Sept. 30, 2018.

American Savings Bank had total assets of approximately $42.8 million and equity of approximately $7.8 million at the same reporting time.

It’s expected the boards of directors of both banking institutions will combine. Valley Central Bank’s and Valley Central’s directors include Ben Kessling, Don Vonderhaar, Mike Hinger, Brian Reisert, and Joanna Gaynor, and ASB’s board includes Ed Pokora, Vaden Fitton and James Papakirk.

Kessling, Valley Central’s board chairman, will serve as chairman of the boards of the resulting organization.

Gaynor will remain in her positions and DeBiasi will become the president and chief operating officer of Valley Central Bank.

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