September 2, 2014

Medina
Intermittent clouds
75°F

Westfield Bank acquires Western Reserve

WESTFIELD CENTER — Customers of Western Reserve Bank should see very few changes as a result of the bank’s Friday acquisition by Westfield Bancorp.

Westfield Bank bought Western Reserve for $18 million in a plan announced in June.

As a result of the acquisition, one Westfield Bank branch closed and 10 people lost their jobs.

“We’re bringing 60 jobs to Medina from our other locations, though,” said Jon Park, chairman of Westfield Bankcorp.

Park said the merger means Westfield Bank now has total assets of $836 million and six bank offices. Westfield Bank is an affiliate of Westfield Insurance.

As part of the agreement, shareholders received $29 per share, and Westfield Bank repaid about $5 million in preferred stock held by the U.S. Department of Treasury. The treasury held the stock because of Western Reserve’s participation in the Capital Purchase Program, which bought mortgage-backed securities in 2009 during the height of the financial crisis.

Because of the purchase, the Westfield Bank branch at 4992 Foote Road, Medina Township, closed Friday. The Western Reserve branch across the street, 4015 Medina Road, which Park said is a better-equipped building, will be renamed Westfield Bank.

Customers of both banks were notified early on that the banks planned to combine, Park said.

Western Reserve was established in 1998 and had branches in Medina and Brecksville. Park said both branches will operate under the Westfield Bank name.

Park and Ed McKeon, president and CEO of Western Reserve Bank, agreed that the acquisition went smoothly.

“In a lot of bank mergers, people have issues because boards and employees don’t understand the other entity,” McKeon said. “That’s not the case here.”

McKeon said he thought the purchase was in the customers’ best interest.

“It’s the end of an era,” McKeon said, “but we believe our customers are best served by a bigger community bank.”

An era is ending for McKeon, too.

“I’m retiring in about two hours,” McKeon said Friday afternoon.

Contact Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or nglunt@medina-gazette.com.