North Shore Bank branch in Reading. Photo from North Shore Bank website

Hometown Financial Group is growing its eastern Massachusetts footprint as it announced a merger between Abington Bank and North Shore Bank on Thursday.

The combined bank will have over $3 billion in assets and 25 branches across Massachusetts’ North and South Shore regions and southern New Hampshire, the banks said in a joint statement. The banks do not anticipate closing branches or reducing employees. As part of the transaction, North Shore Bank will establish a new charitable foundation to supplement its existing philanthropic works.

At closing, branches in the South Shore region will continue to operate under Abington Bank brand, now as a division of North Shore Bank. The combined banks will be led by Kevin M. Tierney Sr., the current chief executive officer of North Shore Bank, who will take on the additional role of president of Hometown Financial Group. Michael R. Wheeler, the current president and chief operating officer of North Shore Bank, will also become the chief operating officer of Hometown Financial Group.

The merger will make way for the retirement of long-time Abington Bank President and CEO Andrew J. Raczka. The boards of directors of North Shore Bank and Abington Bank will merge at closing and corporators of North Shore Bank will join corporators of Hometown Financial Group.

The merger was unanimously approved by the boards of Hometown Financial Group, Abington Bank and North Shore Bank, and is anticipated to close in the second half of 2024, subject to regulatory approvals.

This transaction is the seventh merger for Hometown Financial Group in the last nine years.

“We’re thrilled to welcome North Shore Bank’s customers, employees and communities to the Hometown Financial Group family of banks,” Matthew S. Sosik, chairman and CEO of Hometown Financial Group and president and CEO of bankESB, said. “This merger will more than double our presence in eastern Massachusetts in terms of locations and assets, so we’re eager to share the significant power and resources of Hometown Financial Group with the employees and customers of North Shore Bank.”

The combined bank servicing eastern Massachusetts customers will also have access to residential mortgage products and services offered through Hometown Mortgage, an affiliate of Hometown Financial Group, the banks said.

Sosik said the group’s holding company structure “offers the best of both worlds” to customers, employees and communities where each bank with local branding power is deeply rooted in their local communities, while leveraging shared operational resources, enabling the banks to work together to take on bigger deals.

Once the merger is complete, Hometown Financial Group will have consolidated assets of around $6.4 billion, close to 700 employees and a network of 52 full-service branches across Massachusetts, northeastern Connecticut and southern New Hampshire.

Luse Gorman PC served as legal counsel to Hometown Financial Group, while Piper Sandler provided strategic consulting. Nutter McClellan & Fish LLP served as legal counsel for North Shore Bank, while Keefe Bruyette and Woods provided strategic consulting.

North Shore Bank, Abington Bank to Merge

by Nika Cataldo time to read: 2 min