Skagit Bank

Skagit Bank will merge with Banner Bank.

Skagit Bank’s sale to Banner Corporation, which owns Banner Bank, was finalized Thursday, according to a corporation news release.

“The combination of our two organizations provides the opportunity to create operational efficiencies and enhance the value of the combined company while offering Skagit customers a broader product offering, increased lending limits and an expanded branch delivery system,” Mark Grescovich, Banner Corporation’s President and Chief Executive Officer said in the release.

Cheryl R. Bishop, the former CEO and director of Skagit Bank, has been appointed to the Banner Bank Board of Directors, according to the release. Her father and 75 shareholders started Skagit Bank in 1958.

As a board member, Bishop said she will continue to promote the interests of Pacific Northwest customers.

“My commitment to the Pacific Northwest doesn’t change whether I’m working for Skagit Bank or I’m a board member for Banner Bank,” Bishop said. “I’m convinced its our responsibility to give back to community so I intend to continue to do so.”

The merger will have both positive and negative effects for Skagit Bank customers, Bishop said previously.

Because Banner is a larger company, customers will now have access to more services and locations. But because Banner and Skagit Bank currently have locations near each other, some branches will close.

In October, Banner announced the consolidation of some branches.

The Banner Bank location at 110 Cascade Mall Drive in Burlington will close, with its operations consolidated into the Skagit Bank branch at 301 E. Fairhaven Ave., according to Banner Vice President of Communications & Public Relations Kelly McPhee.

As with all Skagit Bank branches, the Fairhaven Avenue branch will become a Banner Bank.

Branches of the two banks that are a mile or less apart are being consolidated, McPhee said.

There will be four consolidation of branches in Whatcom and King counties.

Customers can expect to begin seeing these changes in early 2019, Bishop said previously.

Kenneth W. Johnson, the former president and COO of Skagit Bank, will join Banner Bank as executive vice president of operations.

The combined company will have about $11.4 billion in assets.

Skagit Bank shareholders are entitled to receive about 5.7 shares of Banner Bank common stock in exchange for each share of Skagit Bank common stock, plus cash in lieu of any fractional shares, according to the release.

— Reporter Julia-Grace Sanders: 360-416-2145,, Twitter: @JuliaGrace_SVH

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