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April 16, 2018
Biz Money

Maine's top 3 banks making their presence known in N.H. (and beyond)

Maine's top three banks are making inroads in the Granite State. Bangor Savings Bank's parent, Bangor Bancorp MHC, completed its acquisition of the holding company for Granite Bank, which had four offices and $241 million in assets.

The deal, announced in October 2017, closed on April 9 and was worth $45 million.

With the Granite State branches and another branch planned for Portsmouth, N.H., Bangor Savings will have 60 offices and roughly $4 billion in assets. The Bangor Savings signs are already on the four Granite State locations.

In 2017, Bangor Savings Bank expanded its footprint into New Hampshire by opening a limited service branch in Portsmouth offering mortgage and commercial lending, along with payroll and merchant services. In March, the bank announced plans to open an office in downtown Portsmouth, at 8 Bow St., by late summer.

With Maine's population relatively static and getting older, Maine banks are seeking growth in other states.

A growing northern New England network

Bar Harbor Bank & Trust (NYSE: BHB), Maine's third-largest bank, has 49 offices in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.

It's the only Maine bank in all three states, thanks to its $182 million acquisition of Lake Sunapee Bank two years ago. The footprint is made up of 21 branches in New Hampshire and 14 each for Vermont and Maine.

By the end of April, it plans to convert the out-of-state branches to the Bar Harbor Bank & Trust name, President and CEO Curtis Simard told Mainebiz.

New signs will replace those that identified Lake Sunapee Bank as a division of Bar Harbor Bank.

Lake Sunapee Bank was originally Newport Savings Bank. It moved into Vermont in 2013 when it bought Randolph National Bank.

Simard said the bank will continue to look for other opportunities to grow.

Let's not forget that Camden National (NASDAQ: CAC) in March announced plans to expand its network of New Hampshire loan offices, opening a site in Portsmouth. Elsewhere, Camden National has a loan office in Manchester (as well as a loan office in Braintree, Mass.). It has 60 offices overall.

Let the battle of the banks begin

The expansion by the three banks could cause some jostling in the ranking of the largest Maine-based banks.

In the most recent list of the largest Maine-based banks, published in Mainebiz on April 2, Camden National was ranked No. 1, with $4.04 billion in assets, followed by Bangor Savings, with $3.767 billion, with Bar Harbor Bank & Trust close behind, at $3.56 billion.

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