Munster-based Finward Bancorp and Royal Financial Inc. in Chicago have announced a merger agreement. The parent of Peoples Bank says the merger is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2022.
In addition, Royal Savings Bank will be merged with and into Peoples Bank, and the combined operations will be continued under the Peoples Bank name. Integration is expected to be complete in the second quarter of 2022.
“This partnership is a strong cultural, strategic, and financial fit for both of our organizations. Our companies have a long history of serving our communities and helping our customers be more successful,” said Benjamin Bochnowski, president and chief executive officer of FNWD. “By joining together, we expect to achieve more on a greater scale to help us serve our customers and communities better than ever before.”
Bochnowski says Peoples Bank expects to close at least one Royal Savings Bank location as part of the merger.
“With that in mind, we are committed to evaluating all Royal Savings Bank employees for potential roles post-close. In the end, we intend to have a strong market presence in the city of Chicago, Chicagoland, and our core market of Northwest Indiana,” Bochnowski said.
As part of the merger, a current director or executive officer of Royal Financial will be appointed to the boards of directors of Finward and Peoples Bank.