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Kinderhook Bank is no more following acquisition

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    Beginning Monday morning, customers of the former Kinderhook Bank were doing business at Community Bank following an acquisition earlier this year.
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    Monday was the first day customers were able to use Community Bank locally. The bank acquired the former Kinderhook Bank earlier this year.
July 15, 2019 10:04 pm

KINDERHOOK — The sale of Kinderhook Bank will cost 25 jobs as customers awoke to a new reality Monday.

From now on, they will be taking their business to Community Bank.

The Syracuse-based Community Bank N.A. acquired Kinderhook Bank on Jan. 22 of this year and over the weekend Kinderhook Bank branches flipped the switch.

No branches have been closed as a result of the acquisition — the 11 Kinderhook Bank branches located across five counties in the Capital District will remain, as Community Bank N.A. branches, including all four in Columbia County.

Twenty-five employees of Kinderhook Bank were laid off and 65 were kept on as Community Bank employees.

“As we moved through the transition process, we worked hard to retain as many positions as possible,” said Hal Wentworth, senior vice president for retail banking at Community Bank N.A. “However, because of overlapping operational responsibilities we were faced with the tough decision to eliminate approximately 25 Kinderhook Bank positions. We recognize the contributions of those impacted and are working to ensure these individuals have access to job retraining, re-employment services and other assistance.”

All Kinderhook Bank branches were temporarily closed over the weekend, beginning at 3 p.m. Friday, and remained closed Saturday and Sunday as they transitioned to the new bank, including the removal of old signs, to be replaced with the new Community Bank signs. Branches were back open for business Monday morning.

With the purchase of Kinderhook Bank, Community Bank has more than 240 combined customer locations and ATMs across upstate New York, northeastern Pennsylvania, Vermont and western Massachusetts, according to the company’s website.

In the acquisition deal made in January, Community Bank System, Inc., purchased the local banking company for $93.4 million in an all-cash transaction.

Kinderhook Bank was established in 1853 on the southwest corner of Broad Street and Albany Avenue in Kinderhook. On Dec. 28, 1858, the bank’s first president, William Tobey, purchased its first property for $5,250. The bank occupied the property May 1, 1859.

Prior to the Community Bank acquisition, Kinderhook Bank had total assets of nearly $640 million, deposits of $560 million and 11 banking offices across a five-county area, including Kinderhook, Chatham, Valatie and Greenport. The combined company will have approximately $11.3 billion in assets, according to the announcement made in January.

“Kinderhook Bank has a rich tradition of community banking and serving its local communities, and that tradition will continue,” Wentworth said. “Community Bank is pleased to expand its footprint into the Capital Region and is committed to its new employees, customers and the communities in which they live and work.”

F. Michael Tucker, president and CEO of the Columbia Economic Development Corporation, acknowledged that there will be a transitional period, but welcomed the new bank.

“With 115 years of tradition and service to the community by Kinderhook Bank, there is an adjustment that needs to be made, but this is a natural partnership between these two institutions that will better serve their customers and the community,” Tucker said. “We look forward to working with them in the future.”

Community Bank was founded in 1866, according to the company’s website.

Jeffrey Hunt, president and CEO of the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, said it’s too early to know how the acquisition will affect the local business and banking community.

“The acquisition happened a while back but it’s a little too early to know the impact on the community,” Hunt said. “They joined the chamber early in the spring, but we have had little contact with them so far.”

Wentworth said the company offers extended banking opportunities for its new customers.

“With the merger, Community Bank will offer former Kinderhook Bank customers expanded services and products, including expanded lending limits, expanded branch and ATM networks, and new products, such as No Closing Cost Mortgages and Carefree Checking accounts,” Wentworth said.