Daily News

Westfield Bank, Chicopee Savings Bank to Merge

WESTFIELD — Westfield Financial Inc., the holding company for Westfield Bank, and Chicopee Bancorp Inc., the holding company for Chicopee Savings Bank, announced the signing of a definitive merger agreement.

The merger will create the largest locally managed bank in Hampden County and the second-largest bank in terms of deposit market share in the county. The combined company will have total assets of $2.1 billion, tangible equity of over $215 million, and 21 branch locations serving customers throughout Western Mass. and Northern Conn.

“We are excited to combine with such a strong partner as Chicopee,” said James Hagan, president and CEO of Westfield Bank. “As we have gotten to know Bill Wagner and his team over time, we have been pleased at the commonality of our cultures, operating models, and the customer-service focus of our two institutions. Although headquartered in the same county, we currently serve two distinct customer bases, which, when combined, will complement each other tremendously. A merger of our two banks will be extremely favorable for the shareholders, customers, employees, and communities of both institutions.”

Following completion of the transaction, Hagan will be president and CEO of the combined company, and Donald Williams will be chairman of the Board. William Wagner, chairman, president, and CEO of Chicopee, will join the executive management team of Westfield, and will become vice chairman of the board of directors. Four additional board members of Chicopee will also join the board of Westfield. Following closing, the combined bank will do business under the Westfield Bank name, with the holding company to be renamed Western New England Bancorp. The Chicopee Savings Bank Charitable Foundation will remain in place with its original philanthropic mission in the Greater Chicopee area unchanged.

“Westfield is the ideal partner for Chicopee,” Wagner said. “This is the first in-market merger our community has seen in over 25 years and, as such, will not result in a significant outflow of resources or shift the focus of our franchise elsewhere, but rather will intensify and strengthen our combined ability to serve our local markets, consumers, and businesses that make both Westfield and Chicopee successful. I look forward to our future together as a combined institution and to the substantial impact our bank will have in Western New England.”

The merger agreement has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both Westfield and Chicopee. Closing is anticipated to occur during the fourth quarter of 2016, subject to approval by the shareholders of both companies, receipt of required regulatory approvals, and other customary closing conditions.

“Westfield has a strong reputation in commercial business lending to large-scale customers that will enhance our lending platform and ability,” Wagner said. “Moreover, the larger lending limit, breadth of product mix, and deep and sophisticated support functions will allow our bank to be a major competitor in Western New England for years to come.”

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