Update: The deal announced in August 2019 has been completed. Click on the article below to read more about this transaction.

August 19, 2019 - American Banker

First Trust & Savings Bank of Albany and Morton Community Bank Announce Merger

The Barack Ferrazzano Financial Institutions Group represented First Trust & Savings Bank of Albany, Illinois ("First Trust") in connection with its planned merger into Morton Community Bank of Morton, Illinois ("Morton"). Hometown Community Bancorp, parent company of Morton, has agreed to buy the $182.7 million-asset First Trust from Albany Bancshares, Inc., parent company of First Trust. Expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2019, the merger will add four new locations to Morton and bring total assets of the employee-owned community bank to approximately $4.0 billion.

First Trust has four branches, $156 million in deposits, and $123 million in loans. This merger marks Hometown's entry northwest of its existing operations, expanding into the Whiteside and Rock Island counties.

Officials from each bank foresee the merger benefitting the communities of Albany, Erie, Hillsdale, Port Byron, and the entire Quad Cities metropolitan area; yielding additional opportunities for local businesses and residents, as well as the expansion of banking services and expertise. President of First Trust, Mark Hanson, stated, "This partnership will allow us to continue to deliver a community bank experience, while also introducing more competitive mortgage options, business lending capabilities, cash management tools, and trust and wealth management solutions."

The merger will present a unique opportunity for First Trust employees to become part owners of Morton, an added benefit Morton takes pride in as an employee-owned bank. At the close of the transaction, the four First Trust locations will be rebranded as Clock Tower Community Bank and operate as a division of Morton. Online, Morton will continue to operate under the umbrella name of Hometown Community Banks.

Barack Ferrazzano’s team was led by John E. Freechack, Emily N. Henkel, and Nicholas M. Brenckman.

To learn more about this transaction, visit https://www.americanbanker.com/news/hometown-community-entering-northwest-ill-with-bank-acquisition or click "related materials" below.

About First Trust & Savings Bank of Albany

Founded in 1901, First Trust & Savings Bank of Albany has served the Whiteside and upper Rock Island counties in Illinois for over a century. Experienced local bankers at First Trust & Savings Bank of Albany provide clients personalized one-on-one service.

To learn more about First Trust & Savings Bank of Albany, visit: https://efirsttrust.com/resources/about-us/

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