Stearns Bank takes over rescued rival First East Side Savings Bank

Stearns Bank NA, the operating subsidiary of US financial holding company Stearns Financial Services Inc, announced the acquisition of Florida-based First East Side Savings Bank without disclosing financial terms.

The sale followed the seizure of First East Side Savings Bank by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which subsequently entered into an agreement with Stearns Bank. The acquisition was completed immediately, giving Stearns Bank ownership of all deposits and virtually all assets of the failed lender.

The target operated one branch in Tamarac and that has already started doing business under the Stearns name. The new owner said that people who had previously used the services of First East Side Savings Bank would be able to go about their daily banking activities as before. Customers can access their accounts, write cheques and use their debit cards.

As a result of the deal, Stearns Bank now operates 13 offices across Minnesota, Georgia, Arizona and Florida. The Tamarac location has brought the number of its Florida branches to four. The bank has total assets of about USD1.4bn (EUR1.1bn) and Tier 1 capital of USD232m.

Stearns Bank’s chief executive Norman Skalicky said that his company was pleased to add First East Side Savings Bank’s clients and staff to its family.  Customers will still be served by the people they have to rely on and their deposits will remain insured by the FDIC, Skalicky added.