Washington Federal to acquire 51 Bank of America branches

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CBH Columbia Basin Herald Local News

SEATTLE - Two Grant County Bank of America branches are expected to be replaced by Seattle-based bank Washington Federal by the end of this year.

Officials at Washington Federal recently announced they have entered into agreements with Bank of America to acquire 51 branches in parts of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and New Mexico.

Bank of America's Moses Lake and Quincy branches are included in that deal. Washington Federal currently has 185 branches in eight Western states.

Once the deal closes, the number of branches will increase to 236.

According to Cathy Cooper, spokesperson for Washington Federal, the deal is expected to close in early December pending regulatory approval.

The agreement involves Washington Federal buying the deposit accounts and facilities of the 51 branches, she said.

"Clients of these Bank of America banking centers will become Washington Federal clients once the deal closes," Cooper said.

Bank of America is keeping the consumer and mortgage loans and credits cards, so the agreement does not include those accounts, she said.

Bank of America will send notices to affected customers as the deal's closing date nears. Washington Federal will also send "welcome packets" to help customers make a smooth transition, including information on new debit and ATM cards, she said.

Cooper said the bank has been wanting to expand into Eastern Washington for many years.

"We're very excited to serve these communities," she said.

Including Moses Lake and Quincy, Washington Federal is acquiring 19 Eastern Washington Bank of America locations.

Washington Federal president and CEO Roy Whitehead said Bank of America employees will not lose their jobs as a result of the acquisition.

"All employees from the acquired branches will be offered continued employment with Washington Federal," he said in a recent bank newsletter.

For more information, visit www.washingtonfederal.com.

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