Washington Federal to buy Bank of America branches

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The Seattle-based parent of Washington Federal has announced it will buy 51 Bank of America branches, including those in Walla Walla and Milton-Freewater.

The company announced the move Thursday evening with its earnings report. Officials said they have also completed a conversion to a national bank charter.

The acquisition by Washington Federal Inc. is expected to close in the fourth calendar quarter. The bank branches span Eastern Washington (19 locations), Central and Eastern Oregon (six locations), Idaho (15 locations) and New Mexico (11 locations).

Washington Federal has 185 branches in eight western states. The acquisition will give them 236 branches total. The additional retail branches represent about $1.8 billion in deposits and $11 million in loans. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval.

Washington Federal President and Chief Executive Officer Roy M. Whitehead said in the announcement all employees in the Bank of America branches will be offered continued employment “and every effort will be made to minimize disruptions to customer banking routines at those locations.”

Bank of America is at 111 W. Main St. in Walla Walla. The Milton-Freewater branch is at 215 N. Columbia St.

The company announced quarterly earnings of $37.3 million, or 36 cents per diluted share, for the quarter that ended June 30. That compares to $35.2 million, or 33 cents per diluted share, for the same period a year ago. Earnings were $108.6 million, or $1.03 per share, for the nine months that ended June 30. That’s a 5.8 percent increase from the $102.7 million, or 96 cents per share, earned for the corresponding period last year.

Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at vickihillhouse@wwub.com or 526-8321.

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