Bank merger takes effect on Monday
The Harleysville National Bank and East Penn Bank branches will be closing today at 5 p.m. and will remain closed until Monday, April 12.
This is to finalize the merger of the banks with First Niagara Bank of Buffalo, N.Y.
Harleysville, which is the parent company of East Penn Bank, was acquired by First Niagara after sustaining a loss of $219.5 million in 2009.
In comparison, First Niagara's portfolio showed net income of over $100 million in 2009, which was an 18 percent increase from 2008.
First Niagara has issued the following timetable regarding the conversion from East Penn and Harleysville to First Niagara:
• As of 5 p.m. this past Wednesday, bill pay service with Harleysville was placed in "inquiry only" mode. While you will be able to view your bill pay information, you will not be able to add new payments or change scheduled payments until Monday, April 12.
Bill payments with pay dates scheduled through April 11 will be processed by Harleysville National Bank.
Bill payments with pay dates scheduled for April 12 and after will be processed by First Niagara's Bill Pay service. Please review the Personal Online Banking Letter or Business Online Banking Letter for more details.
• Today, systems conversion begins
• Beginning at the close of business today, and throughout the weekend, all Harleysville National Bank and East Penn Bank accounts will be converted to First Niagara accounts.
• Branch access - At 5 p.m. today all Harleysville National Bank and East Penn Bank branches will be closed through the weekend for the systems conversion.
• Online banking and bill pay - Beginning today at 4 p.m., Online Banking and Bill Payment will not be available until conversion is complete. However, you can still view your accounts in "inquiry only" mode.
For important information about converting these services, please see the Personal Online Banking Letter or Business Online Banking Letter for more details.
• ATM access - ATM access will continue to be available throughout the conversion weekend.
• Monday, April 12, conversion to First Niagara is completed.
• Conversion details - On Monday, April 12, all Harleysville National Bank and East Penn Bank branches will open as First Niagara Bank branches, and your accounts will be First Niagara accounts. At this time, you'll also have access to the full range of financial services that First Niagara offers.
• Online banking and bill pay - On April 12, Online Banking and bill payment services will be available. You can access First Niagara's Online Banking by following the steps in the Personal Online Banking Letter or Business Online Banking Letter.
If you have any questions, call 1-800-421-0004 and select option 2, or e mail: PAquestions@fnfg.com.
On a related note, Harleysville National Corporation (Nasdaq: HNBC) has completed the sale of one of its wealth management divisions, the Cornerstone Companies, to its three managing directors.
Terms of the sale to Cornerstone Companies' John R. Yaissle, Malcolm L. Cowen II and Thomas J. Scalici were not disclosed.
Cornerstone Companies manages approximately $2.8 billion in assets, and employs a staff of about 30 people in its Allentown and Bethlehem offices. Harleysville acquired the group in January 2006.
Harleysville's Millennium Wealth Management division will remain part of the bank holding company, which is in the process of merging with First Niagara Financial Group (Nasdaq: FNFG).