Howard Bancorp, parent company of Howard Bank, announced Tuesday that it has entered into an agreement to acquire 1st Mariner bank in Baltimore. The acquisition, worth $163.4 million would double Howard Bank’s assets to $2.1 billion.
Howard Bancorp’s headquarters will be relocated to the 1st Mariner’s office in Canton. A layoff is expected, since there will be an overlapping of about six branches. The merger will push Howard Bank into a more competitive position with national and regional banks. Smaller banks are struggling to be competitive in today’s economy.
After the acquisition, Howard Bank would have double the assets, giving them the ability to lift lending limits, increase offerings and implement new technology to better serve the local community.
The most recent recession pushed some regional and local banks to decrease lending and back out of local markets. In 2009, there were 90 banks headquartered in Maryland, which dropped to 58 by 2016.