Univest Corp., Souderton, says it has agreed to buy Fox Chase Bank, Souderton, for $244.3 million, or $21 a share in cash and stock. Statement here.

The deal adds Fox Chase's $1.1 billion in loans and other assets and branches in Philadelphia's near northern suburbs and Northeast Philadelphia, to Souderton's larger network in upper Bucks and Montgomery Counties and outposts in Philadelphia.

It's the latest in a string of sales by suburban banks with less than $2 billion, which face tough competition and high regulatory costs. And it would establish Univest -- the former Union Bank and Trust, a bank historically associated with the German-American and Mennonite business communities -- as a more significant player in the local market and an eventual takeover cnadidate.