Howard Bank to merge with F.N.B. Corpopration

The historic bank building in Rising Sun’s Center Square will change names once again with the merger of Howard Bank to F.N.B. Corporation. Founded as the National Bank of Rising Sun, it became NBRS Financial in the 80s but was seized by federal regulators in 2014 and handed over to Howard Bank. By January it will be F.N.B.’s only Cecil County branch.

HARFORD COUNTY — By January, Howard Bank will be completely absorbed by F.N.B. Corporation in a $418 million all-stock merger announced earlier this week.

Mary Ann Scully, president and CEO of Howard Bank, said Wednesday that she is excited about the merger and what it will mean for Rising Sun and Cecil County.

“FNB is a bank that has done a lot in their communities,” Scully said. She believes that the public will see more of what Howard Bank has been doing including the Keep It Local campaign, which supports small businesses. “They think like us and they act like us.”

Of course, the “Howard Bank” name will go away, Scully said. Unfortunately so will some jobs.

“There’s going to be duplicate functions and we need to get rid of those,” Scully said. “But there will be other jobs in the system they could do.”

F.N.B. entered Maryland in 2013 and has grown, in part, through acquisitions. So did Howard Bank.

Howard Bank took over NBRS Financial in October 2014 when federal regulators seized the former First National Bank of Rising Sun. The Rising Sun building at 6 Pearl St. was renamed as the regional office for Howard Bank.

Since the NBRS acquisition Howard Bank has also acquired 1st Mariner Bank.

Howard Bank is F.N.B. Corporation’s third acquisition. The Pittsburgh-based institution has branches in Harford County and in Baltimore and the DC-metro counties of Maryland but its only Cecil County branch is in Rising Sun.

“It’s a new market for them,” Scully said.

The acquisition gives F.N.B. more power to loan and invest with an estimated $40 billion in assets available.

“With the bigger lending limit we believe they will be able to take care of our community,” she said.

That was good news to Rising Sun Mayor Travis Marion.

“We built a relationship with Howard Bank and we look forward to building a relationship with them,” Marion said. Howard Bank actively supported Rising Sun through its many public events including Spooktacular and WinterFest.

Scully sees F.N.B. having a role in the building boom starting to emerge in Rising Sun and throughout Cecil County.

“Technically we are part of the Philadelphia market but with our distribution centers, Great Wolf Lodge, and Bainbridge there’s a lot of opportunities,” Scully said.

Scully said when the merger is complete she will retire.

“I will be here until close in January 2022 but I’ll be an ambassador for sure,” she said.

Howard Bank stocks rose from just under $16 per share to nearly $20 when the merger was announced.

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