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February 1, 2022

Webster Bank closes $10.3B merger with Sterling

Photo | Contributed Webster President and CEO John R. Ciulla.

Webster Bank said Tuesday morning that it has completed its $10.3 billion merger with New York’s Sterling Bancorp.

Officials with both lenders said the combined company — still named Webster Bank, but now headquartered in Stamford instead of Waterbury — is well-positioned to grow its commercial banking business, improve the banking experience for customers and realize gains for investors.

“Today marks a transformative moment in Webster's history that will greatly benefit our colleagues, clients, communities and shareholders,” said Webster President and CEO John R. Ciulla. “Our bank will have enhanced scale, significant loan growth potential, best-in-class deposit franchises and a longstanding commitment to community development and corporate citizenship.”

The company now has approximately $65 billion in assets, $44 billion in loans and $53 billion in deposits based on balances as of Dec. 31, 2021. It operates 202 financial centers in the Northeast, and will keep Webster’s multi-campus presence in Waterbury, the bank’s longtime headquarters.

In a conference call with analysts earlier this month, Ciulla said all legacy Sterling customers will be converted to the Webster brand, and the partnering firms will consolidate operations over the coming 18 months.

Webster also appointed seven Sterling officials to its new board of directors, including Jack L. Kopnisky, who will serve as executive chairman of Webster Financial Corp.

Webster and Sterling, formerly based in Montebello, New York, announced plans to unite in a “merger of equals” last April, and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System signed off on the deal on Dec. 17.

That same board has still yet to render a decision on People’s United Bank’s acquisition by Buffalo-based M&T Bank, which has been in the works since February 2021 and was supposed to close by the end of last year.

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