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Berkshire Bank to Move HQ to Boston, Acquire Commerce Bank

PITTSFIELD — Berkshire Hills Bancorp, parent of Berkshire Bank, announced today that it plans to relocate its corporate headquarters to Boston later this year, a move to support the bank’s continued strategic growth throughout the Northeast.

The company also announced a definitive agreement to acquire Commerce Bancshares Corp. and its subsidiary, Commerce Bank, in Worcester, adding 16 new branches in Eastern Mass. and a well-established commercial team to capitalize on growth opportunities and further solidify its regional presence. The combined institution will be the largest regional bank in Massachusetts and the first regional bank headquartered in Boston in decades.

“Locating our corporate headquarters in Boston will not take us away from our roots in Berkshire County; we remain committed to all of our employees, customers, and communities,” said Michael Daly, CEO of Berkshire Bank. “Boston will offer our senior executives connectivity with government leaders, regulators, and decision makers, and provide the ability to attract broader workforce talent as the bank continues to grow. With the addition of the Commerce team, we will be able to leverage the strengths of both banks and capitalize on growth opportunities in the attractive, high-growth Eastern Massachusetts markets. This is not only important to Boston, but to all our local markets, to be the first regional bank with a Boston headquarters in decades.”

The proposed acquisition provides significant scale in Eastern Mass. The combined franchise will operate its corporate headquarters, four branches, and three lending offices in Greater Boston, and an additional 15 branches in and around Worcester, with $3 billion in loans and $2 billion in deposits. On completion of the deal, Berkshire Bank will have 113 branches serving customers across the Northeast. Berkshire is committed to growing its operating model, levering its platforms such as the MyBanker concierge banking service, and expects commercial, wealth-management, and private-banking businesses to be focuses of its strategy in Greater Boston.

Berkshire Bank’s operational center will remain in downtown Pittsfield, and the relocation will not have any impact on its employees. Additionally, its current regional hubs serving markets in New York’s Capital and Central regions, the Hartford/Springfield region, Southern Vermont, as well as operations around Princeton, N.J., will continue to be significant contributors.

“Relocating our corporate headquarters to Boston’s financial district is a well-timed move that will make us stronger by driving value and adding jobs that will benefit our employees and customers across our footprint,” said Sean Gray, chief operating officer. “As a successful regional bank, having our headquarters in a strong hub for the financial-services industry provides economic value and takes advantage of the largest New England market to fuel growth and increase our ability capitalize on our investment in all of our communities.”

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