Bank of America ownership change preparations in progress

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The parent company of Washington Federal is preparing Bank of America customers for the upcoming conversion.

The Seattle company is set to close its purchase of 51 Pacific Northwest Bank of America branches, including in Walla Walla and Milton-Freewater, this quarter.

At the end of October the company began mailing welcome guides to introduce itself to Bank of America customers.

Throughout this month, deposit customers who will be affected will receive new debit cards and free checks, according to an announcement.

The converting banking centers will close for conversion starting at noon Dec. 6. They will reopen as Washington Federal branches on Dec. 9.

The acquisition was announced last July. 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 the company 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.

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

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