BHB&T acquires People’s branches

BAR HARBOR — Bar Harbor Bank & Trust (BHB&T) is acquiring eight People’s United Bank branches in central Maine, increasing to 22 the number of its locations in the state and 56 overall in northern New England.

The acquisition, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year, is subject to approval by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the state of Maine.

“We are pleased to welcome our new colleagues, customers and communities to our already deep Maine roots,” said Curtis Simard, president and CEO of BHB&T. “We believe this acquisition provides our existing and new customers enhanced convenience and underscores our commitment to Maine while expanding into contiguous markets in a sensible way.”

BHB&T is acquiring three People’s United branches in Bangor and one each in Brewer, Newport, Orono, Pittsfield and Waterville.

Those eight branches had a total of about $287 million in deposits, $111 million of loans and $284 million of assets under management as of March 31.

Late last year, Bar Harbor Bankshares, the parent company of BHB&T, acquired New Hampshire-based Lake Sunapee Bank Group which, at the time, had 35 branches in New Hampshire and Vermont. Simard said the merger lifted BHB&T to the fifth-largest community bank in New England in terms of assets.

He told the Islander in January that he looked at that merger as “bringing Bar Harbor on the road and showing everybody what we have to offer.”

“You would be astonished at how many people from our footprint (outside Maine) come into our headquarters here and said, ‘You’re my bank. I’ve heard about Bar Harbor, and this has given me the perfect excuse [to visit].’

“The merger has attracted an investor base that we might not otherwise have access to.”

Asked at the time about the likelihood of additional mergers and acquisitions, Simard said, “We are always on the lookout. But it would have to fit our model, our culture, which is number one for us.

“I think the death of the branch is prematurely prognosticated,” he continued. “We believe very much in the branch and don’t think it is going to go away.”

Simard he sees a “bright future” for BHB&T.

“The management team was brought here to grow the bank, grow the Bar Harbor name, and I think we’re doing a good job of it.”

Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]

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