Sale of Carroll Co. bank worries some in town

September 09, 1998|By Donna R. Engle | Donna R. Engle,SUN STAFF

The buyer of the Taneytown bank that has served the community for 114 years is promising to continue Taneytown Bank & Trust Co.'s role as a supporter of community organizations and as a small town bank where tellers and senior vice presidents know their customers by name.

But the corporate headquarters will be in Frederick, not Taneytown.

F&M Bancorp of Frederick announced Friday that it will acquire Monocacy Bancshares Inc. of Taneytown, parent company of the Taneytown bank, for 2.22 million shares of F&M stock, valued at $81 million, based on yesterday's closing price.

F&M Bancorp owns Farmers & Mechanics National Bank.

"Carroll County has been a bastion of community banking," said Thomas K. Ferguson, president of Mason-Dixon Bancshares Inc., parent of Carroll County Bank & Trust Co.

"I don't know if [the sale] changes the equation, but what it does say is that Carroll County, like the rest of the state, is not immune from the consolidations that are going on in the banking industry," Ferguson said.

Analysts say community banks are likely to be swallowed as the industry consolidates, shrinking the 9,000 U.S. banks to perhaps 200 in the next 12 years.

Carroll County Bank's Taneytown branch is Taneytown Bank's only competitor in the northwestern Carroll community of 4,500. Ferguson said Farmers & Mechanics' entry is likely to make the banking environment in Taneytown more competitive.

Taneytown Bank has historically been a major supporter of community organizations, a tradition that will benefit both if it continues, said Dr. William R. Linthicum, president of Taneytown Chamber of Commerce.

Linthicum said he hadn't heard much reaction from residents, other than anxiety because they're unsure what will change.

"I guess the saddest thing I've heard from any particular person is that the name will change. What has been Taneytown Bank for as long as any of us can remember isn't going to be Taneytown Bank anymore," he said.

Pub Date: 9/09/98

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