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WSFS clears hurdle on the way to acquiring Beneficial Bank

Delaware Public Media

Wilmington-based WSFS Bank is one step closer to acquiring Philadelphia’s Beneficial Bank.

The proposed merger between the two community banks was recently approved by the government regulatory agency the Office of Comptroller of Currency.

WSFS officials say the deal is set to be finalized on March 1st pending approval from the Federal Reserve. They say the merger would grow WSFS assets to about $13 billion, making it the largest locally-headquartered community bank in the Greater Delaware Valley.

“There are megatrends that are happening including demographic shift, the rapid pace of technology changes and adoption of technology by our customers and also industry consolidation that led both of our banks to this conclusion that it would be best for us to combine,” said WSFS spokesman Jimmy Hernandez.

Hernandez adds the banks plan to consolidate competing branch locations and use the saving to invest in digital services.

“That will enable us to attract more business, to serve customers better and then ultimately all of that package it together we’ll be able to compete again with banks of all sizes including large banks that currently serve the Delaware Valley,” he said.

If the merger is approved and finalized, the banks plan to continue operating as separate entities through the summer, converging their digital systems and rebranding Beneficial with the WSFS name in August.