Ithaca Times

Chemung Canal Trust Co. to Buy BofA's Two Ithaca Locations, Four Others

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Posted: Thursday, August 22, 2013 11:56 am

ITHACA -- Elmira’s Chemung Canal Trust Company has entered into an agreement to purchase six Bank of America financial centers in Central New York, including both locations in Ithaca.

Part of an acquisition deal made in July, Chemung Canal Trust will assume ownership of Ithaca’s two Bank of America financial centers – one on the Commons; the other on Route 13 – along with two locations in Auburn and one each in Seneca Falls and Cortland. In total, Chemung Canal Trust would acquire $261 million in deposits and $1.8 million in loans, according to Chemung Canal Trust officials.

“We are very excited to expand our market share in Tompkins County and to bring our brand of community banking in Cortland and Seneca Falls,” Chemung Canal Trust Company President and CEO Ronald M. Bentley said in a statement. “We believe many residents and businesses will value and appreciate the ‘high touch’ approach to banking we will provide in these communities.”

With the transaction – which is subject to regulatory approval, the six Bank of America locations would officially change hands on November 22. That would leave Tompkins County's closest Bank of America site in Syracuse.

Beginning as soon as next week, notifications from Bank of America will be arriving via mail and email to local customers whose deposit accounts are scheduled to transition under Chemung Canal Trust’s authority, said a Bank of America employee who fielded questions from customers on Thursday morning. Customers may choose to opt out of the Chemung Canal transition and either remain with Bank of America or switch to another local bank, the employee said.

At both Ithaca branches, an informational handout explaining the parameters of the deal and what it means to customers has been made available. Accounts to be transitioned under Chemung Canal Trust are deposit accounts such as checking, savings, IRAs and CDs belonging to consumers, small businesses and Merrill Edge customers. Bank of America will retain accounts involving credit cards, mortgages, investments and merchant service accounts and personal and business deposit accounts of U.S. Trust and Merrill Lynch Wealth Management clients. Chemung Canal Trust will also manage safety deposit boxes currently held at local Bank of America branches.

Until the transaction is completed in November, customers will be able to access Bank of America accounts, ATM/debit cards, banking centers and drive-ups without interruption, according to the hand-out. After the deal is finalized, all local Bank of America ATMs will switch to Chemung Canal Trust, said the Bank of America employee.

Employees at both of Ithaca’s Bank of America locations said it’s unclear at this point how administrators will decide which local customer accounts automatically transition under Chemung Canal Trust’s authority or remain with the Charlotte-based bank. Both employees said their respective staff teams would be retained under the transition from Bank of America to Chemung Canal Trust Company.

Customers with questions regarding the upcoming transition are asked to call Bank of America’s help line at 1-866-251-0233. Customers are urged to ensure that Bank of America has the correct mailing address, phone number and email address, so as to receive account information.

Chemung Canal Trust Company, which is based in Elmira, currently operates 23 full-service banking offices in Broome, Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga and Tompkins county, as well as in Bradford County in Pennsylvania.

In addition to the two Ithaca Bank of America locations, branches being purchased by Chemung Canal Trust Company include:

120 Genesee St., Auburn

185 Grant St., Auburn

1094 Highway 222, Cortland

54 Falls St., Seneca Falls

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