Banner Corporation, the holding company for Banner Bank and Islanders Bank, and Home Federal Bancorp Inc., the holding company for Home Federal Bank, have announced the signing of a merger agreement in which Banner will acquire Home.

The combined company will have approximately $5.2 billion in assets and will be the fourth largest Pacific Northwest headquartered bank as ranked by assets. It also will have a top 10 deposit market share position in Washington, Idaho and Oregon with an established platform for growth and continued operational improvement throughout the Pacific Northwest.

“We are excited to have Home Federal Bank join the Banner Bank team,” said Mark Grescovich, Banner’s president and chief executive officer. “This combination will help us toward our goal of becoming the community bank of choice in the Pacific Northwest. It significantly improves our market share in the Boise market, which is the third largest metropolitan market in the Pacific Northwest, while also expanding our presence in several key Oregon markets, including Bend/Central Oregon, Eugene, Medford and Grants Pass. The combination of our two organizations provides the opportunity to create tremendous synergies while offering Home Federal customers a broader product offering, increasing lending limits and an expanded branch delivery system that stretches throughout the Pacific Northwest.”

“This combination brings together two community banks that are focused on providing great customer service, a strong commitment to the communities where they operate and an excellent environment for employees to perform and advance,” said Len Williams, president and CEO of Home. “We look forward to working with the management team at Banner Bank to create a leading super community bank in the Pacific Northwest.”

The boards of Banner and Home unanimously approved the transaction.

Other news about Banner Bank is that it has become a partner bank in the U.S. Global Business Solutions Program, a new interagency initiative designed to expand the reach of federal export assistance and add 50,000 small businesses to the nation’s exporter base by 2017. The pilot program aims to expand the base of financial institutions and serve providers that facilitate exports, adding an anticipated 250 trade-finance sources by Dec. 2015.

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