First Bank, owned by the American investment fund J.C. Flowers & Co., concluded the legal and operational merger with Bank Leumi Romania, a subsidiary of Bank Leumi Israel, thus finalizing the transaction initiated in the summer of 2019, according to a bank’s release sent on Tuesday to AGERPRES.
This merger has become a complex process due to the pandemic. Our teams have had to keep their distance and work from home, but were fully supported by the Boards of Directors of the two companies. It is the first successful merger managed by the teams that largely operated remotely or from home.The acquisition is a natural step in strengthening our presence in the local market and expanding the portfolio of valuable customers.We have also launched the new mobile and internet banking application. This comes to complete our network of units. ‘Digital with Human Touch in The American Way’ are the attributes of First Bank, said Henk Paardekooper, Chairman of the Executive Committee and a member on the Board of First Bank.
According to the quoted source, Leumi’s clients received all the information necessary for the relocation to the new entity, most of them having appointed a banking consultant to support them. They will have access to the full range of digital products including video banking, internet and mobile banking platforms.
Bank Leumi Romania was taken over by First Bank [which took over Piraeus Bank, takeover completed at the end of 2017], which became its main shareholder, holding 99.9235pct of its shares. First Bank obtained all the necessary approvals from the National Bank of Romania and the Romania’s Competition Council for this transaction, in July 2019. On 15 November, First Bank submitted to the National Bank of Romania the “Merger Project with Bank Leumi Romania”. The process of integrating the activities of the two banks followed, which ended with the absorption of Bank Leumi Romania by First Bank, under the First Bank brand.
First Bank offers a wide range of financial products and services to individuals, legal entities and small and medium-sized businesses. First Bank is headquartered in Bucharest and operates through 59 branches, with almost 1,000 specialists employed and approximately 130,000 active customers.