Washington Evening Journal
http://washington-ia.villagesoup.com/p/985796

Neighbors Growing Together | Apr 23, 2014

Three area banks to merge

Apr 08, 2013

Central Bancshares Inc. of Muscatine announced today that it plans to merge its three wholly owned Iowa subsidiaries into one organization. Greg Kistler, president and CEO of Central Bancshares, said that Central State Bank in Muscatine and Wilton, Freedom Security Bank in Coralville and Kalona, and West Chester Savings Bank in Washington will become one bank later in 2013. The merger is subject to regulatory approval. Central Bancshares will continue to be the parent company of the new entity. It is also the parent company of F&M Bank in Galesburg, Ill., and Peoria, Ill., which will not be a party to this merger.
According to Steve Olson, president and CEO of West Chester Savings Bank, the merger will offer more convenience and a greater range of products and services for all customers. The resulting entity will have nearly $450 million in assets, and customers will have the opportunity to conduct business at any of its eight banking centers.
“We are already part of the same company, and we will continue to use the same data processing system,” said Olson. “The merger will have a minimal impact on customers, and will be a very positive experience for everyone involved. We are also looking forward to introducing a fresh approach to our branding as we get closer to the merger date.”
Central Bancshares Inc. is a $700 million plus (assets) community bank holding company based in Muscatine. It provides banking, trust, investments and mortgage, consumer, commercial, agricultural and real estate lending through 12 banking centers, ATMs and a variety of electronic solutions. With more than 220 employees, it is a significant contributor to the eastern Iowa and western Illinois community.

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