All of the First Financial banking offices in Bartholomew County, including this one at 2531 Eastbrook Plaza in Columbus, will remain open following a merger with MainSource Bank. Republic staff photo
All of the First Financial banking offices in Bartholomew County, including this one at 2531 Eastbrook Plaza in Columbus, will remain open following a merger with MainSource Bank.
Republic staff photo

COLUMBUS, Ind. — No branch offices in Bartholomew County will close as a result of the merger of two Midwestern banks.

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System on Thursday approved the merger of Greensburg-based MainSource Financial Group into Cincinnati-based First Financial Bancorp.

MainSource and First Financial announced merger plans in July. The official closing of the transaction, valued at $1 billion, is scheduled for April 1, when the two banks will legally become one. Post-merger, the financial institution will have about $14 billion in assets.

“We are extremely pleased that the final step of merging our two banks is now a reality. The integration process is underway and we are excited to continue the First Financial brand as a combined financial institution to better serve our clients and communities,” said Claude E. Davis, president and chief executive officer of First Financial.

The conversion of MainSource’s operating systems to First Financial’s, and the rebranding of branches, is targeted for the Memorial Day weekend, but could happen a bit later if extra time is required, said Archie Brown Jr., MainSource’s chairman, president and CEO.

With MainSource announcing that four of its Columbus branches would be sold to a third banking company, none of the remaining First Financial or MainSource branches in Bartholomew County will be closed as part of consolidation efforts, Brown said.

 

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Kirk Johannesen is assistant managing editor of The Republic. He can be reached at johannesen@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5639.