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June 21, 2024

PeoplesBank, Cornerstone Bank to merge holding companies to form one of largest in Northeast

Contributed Todd Tallman, CEO of Cornerstone Bank, and Thomas Senecal, CEO and chairman of PeoplesBank.

Two Massachusetts-based community banks, including one with a significant presence in Connecticut, have agreed to merge their holding companies, according to an announcement Thursday.

PeoplesBank, which recently opened a banking center in South Windsor, and Cornerstone Bank will form a consolidated holding company for both banks called PeoplesBancorp.

According to the announcement, both banks will continue operating under separate names and brands. There will be no changes for customers and all account information, branch banking and digital access will remain the same.

PeoplesBank, with $4.4 billion in assets, has more than 300 employees and 18 banking centers in Connecticut and Massachusetts. 

Cornerstone Bank, with $1.6 billion in assets, focuses on central Massachusetts. It has 14 branches and ATMs.

After the merger is completed, PeoplesBancorp will have about $6 billion in assets. 

Thomas Senecal, CEO and chairman of PeoplesBank, will become CEO and chairman of PeoplesBancorp; Todd Tallman, CEO of Cornerstone Bank, will become president of the combined mutual holding company.

PeoplesBank President Brian Canina will retain his current title and take the additional role of chief operating officer of the holding company.

According to the announcement, both banks will benefit by combining their financial strength to create one of the largest mutual multi-bank holding companies in the Northeast.

“This merger of our holding companies will create more financial backing for each of our banks, ensuring the kind of sustained strength that our customers have relied on since our founding in 1885,” Senecal said.

The merger was unanimously approved by the boards of directors for both holding companies. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2025, pending regulatory approval and approval by the corporators of both banks.

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