Central Bancshares to merge E. Iowa subsidiaries

CORALVILLE, Iowa (AP) — A Muscatine-based bank holding company says it plans to merge operations of three of its eastern Iowa bank divisions to improve efficiency.

Central Bancshares Inc. executives say they will merge operations of Central State Bank which has branches in Muscatine and Wilton, Freedom Security Banks in Coralville and Kalona, and West Chester Savings Bank located in Washington.

The Iowa City Press-Citizen reported Wednesday (http://icp-c.com/ZClcZ2 ) that the banks plan to operate under a common name to be chosen in the coming months.

Bank officials say the merger will unify the regulatory process and save money by eliminating overlapping administrative processes.

Central Bancshares CEO Greg Kistler says the company hopes to complete the merger by summer. The deal must be approved by the Iowa Division of Banking and the Federal Reserve.

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Information from: Iowa City Press-Citizen, http://www.press-citizen.com/

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