Howard Bank to expand into Harford County

Howard Bank has agreed to buy Cecil Bank's branch at 3 W. Bel Air Ave. in Aberdeen, the institutions announced Monday.

Under the deal, Howard Bank, based in Ellicott City, will acquire at least $38 million in loans and $37.9 million in deposits from Cecil Bank. That's about 10 percent of Cecil Bank's deposits.

"It was a fit for both of us," said Mary Halsey, Cecil's CEO. "They were looking to expand; we were looking to head back into Cecil County, where are roots are."

Howard Bank's CEO, Mary Ann Scully, said in a statement that the bank had been growing beyond its Howard County roots, and the branch acquisition will mark its entry into Harford County.

Regulators must approve the branch sale, which is expected to close in the third quarter. With this branch and another slated to open this year in Towson, Howard Bank will have seven branches. After the sale, Elkton-based Cecil will have 11 branches.

eileen.ambrose@baltsun.com

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