WSFS Financial Corp., the Wilmington company that runs the biggest branch banking network in the Philadelphia Federal Reserve District, says it has completed its acquisition of Beneficial Bank, the biggest bank still based in Philadelphia.
The deal was originally priced at $1.5 billion but was worth just $1.2 billion -- a 20 percent drop -- at the time of closing, after a fall in WSFS share values and last fall’s stock market decline.
WSFS and Beneficial bank cards now work at all 500 of the two banks’ ATMs, including some at Walgreens drug stores in Delaware and some sites in Chester and Delaware Counties. But for now the branches will retain their separate WSFS green and Beneficial blue signs and logos.
The companies plan to close 25 branches in suburban Philadelphia where the two banks formerly competed, and sell 5 in New Jersey to the Bank Of Princeton. Most of the closings will happen by August, when the last of Beneficial systems will be converted to WSFS and WSFS signs will replace Beneficial. Once the last branch consolidations are done next year, WSFS expects to manage a network of 90 branches. It has pledged to use some of the savings to update its digital systems.
The combined banks have $13 billion in loans and other bank assets, plus $19 billion in managed or custodial investments. Citizens, Wells Fargo, PNC and TD banks have larger branch networks, but all have been shutting offices around the region in recent years as customers increasingly bank online.
Beneficial customer relationships will continue business as usual until the banks’ systems are integrated and Beneficial banking offices are rebranded as WSFS Bank, which is anticipated to occur in late August 2019.