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Abington Bank to Merge with Pilgrim Bank, Expanding Hometown Financial Group

ABINGTON — Andrew Raczka, CEO of Abington Bank, announced that Abington Bank will merge with Pilgrim Bank, a member of Hometown Financial Group, MHC, the holding company that includes Easthampton-based bankESB. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of this year. Raczka will lead the merged bank as its CEO.

“We are thrilled to join forces with Pilgrim Bank,” said Raczka. “Our combined resources and expanded branch network will enable us to better serve customers in Plymouth and Norfolk counties. We will have the size and scale needed to be a meaningful player in this market and be able to offer the products and services our customers need with the local commitment they deserve. This transaction will allow us to truly set ourselves apart from the competition.”

Hometown Financial Group recently closed on its acquisition of Pilgrim Bank. “Pilgrim Bank was our entry point into the Eastern Massachusetts market,” said Matthew Sosik, president and CEO of Hometown Financial Group Inc. “From the start, we knew that finding the right mutual partner would be the key to our success with our acquisition of Pilgrim Bancshares Inc. We are very excited about our partnership with Abington Bank. Andy Raczka and his board are well-known and respected bankers in this market, they know the region, and they have experience with bank mergers and integrations. Their customer-first approach, employee-centric culture, and commitment to mutuality mirrors our philosophy here at Hometown Financial Group.”

Following the transaction, Hometown Financial Group will have consolidated assets of $2.7 billion and 30 branches across Massachusetts and Northeastern Conn.

Under its holding-company structure, Hometown Financial Group is able to share resources such as human resources, marketing, facilities management, asset/liability management, investment management, compliance, and information technology with the banks under its umbrella.

“We realize significant efficiencies from our operating model,” Sosik said. “Banks in the Hometown Financial Group family operate independently, with their own identity, management teams, and boards, and avail themselves of back-office resources that are critical to effectively and efficiently compete. We strongly believe that this will be an increasingly attractive business model to other community banks as we move forward.”

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