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AmericanWest Bank to merge with Banner

Banner Bank is merging with a regional bank that will create a company with about 190 branches and $9.7 billion in assets.

The merger between Banner and Spokane-based AmericanWest Bank was announced Wednesday, Nov. 5. The merged banks will operate under the Banner Bank brand. Banner has six branches in Whatcom County, while AmericanWest Bank operates 94 branches, none in Whatcom County.

The combined company will stretch across Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho and Utah, according to a company news release.

Following the merger, Banner will continue to be led by Mark Grescovich as president and CEO. Five representatives from AmericanWest will join the Banner board of directors.

Merging the two banks is the right step forward because they share similar values and cultures, said Scott Kisting, CEO of AmericanWest Bank, in a news release.

Banner currently has $4.8 billion in assets and is based in Walla Walla. Details about the company can be found at bannerbank.com. AmericanWest Bank is a business-focused community bank that offers commercial, business and mortgage lending as well as retail banking services. Details about the company can be found at awbank.net.

The merger is expected to close in the second quarter of 2015. The aggregate value of the transaction is expected to be about $702 million.

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