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MERIDIAN BANCORP MARKS 10TH ANNIVERSARY AS FINANCIAL SERVICES HOLDING COMPANY

 READING, Pa., June 29 /PRNewswire/ -- On June 30, 1993, at 3 p.m., the more than 6,000 employees of Meridian Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ-NMS: MRDN) will gather 'round their radios to raise a toast and hear a message from Samuel A. McCullough, Meridian chairman and CEO, broadcast by select radio stations across Meridian's primary market area.
 For it was at 3 p.m. on June 30, 1983, that the boards of American Bancorp, of Reading, and Central Penn National Corp., of Philadelphia, voted to form a new financial services holding company by consolidating the two institutions.
 In southeastern Pennsylvania the event signaled that a venerable, conservative Philadelphia institution and a fast-growing country bank headquartered in Berks County had joined to create a bold, new, growth-oriented contender in the region's financial services arena.
 And grow it did. Upon its formation on June 30, 1983, Meridian Bancorp recorded assets of $3.6 billion and deposits of $2.9 billion. At March 31, 1993, the holding company recorded more than $12.1 billion in assets and more than $10.1 billion in deposits.
 The company originally had $2.1 billion in loans and $246.7 million in shareholders' equity. At March 31, 1993, the company had $7.4 billion in loans and $904.4 in shareholders' equity.
 Meridian earned $114.7 million in 1992. In 1983, its first year of operation, Meridian earned $32.3 million. In a comparison illustrative of the company's growth, Meridian earned nearly that amount in the first quarter of 1993 alone.
 Starting with 2,794 employees in southeastern Pennsylvania, the company today employs more than 6,000 across the country, with the majority of them in southeastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.
 In preparation for the 10-year celebration, each employee was sent a bottle of non-alcoholic cider and a champagne glass so they could join McCullough in his toast.
 Looking back over the events of the past 10 years, McCullough reflected on some of the company's achievements.
 "I think that if you consider what we've done in the past 10 years our success will be quite evident," McCullough said. "When Meridian was formed in 1983, the two banks -- American Bank and Central Penn -- served 11 Pennsylvania counties with 106 branches. Today we serve 21 counties of three states -- Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware -- with 232 branches. Our ATMs provide banking services at more than 270 locations, almost four times as many as available in 1983."
 Meridian's first big move after the consolidation was in 1984, with the acquisition of the First National Bank of Allentown, which made Meridian the dominant financial services institution in the Lehigh Valley.
 "We had two major accomplishments in 1986," McCullough said. "First, in April we merged the three banks to form Meridian Bank. Then we acquired the First National Bank of Pike County, which added six branches in northeastern Pennsylvania."
 In 1988, Meridian became the first Pennsylvania bank holding company to enter Delaware with the acquisition of Delaware Trust Company and its 24 branches.
 "Starting in 1989," McCullough said, "we concentrated on market fill-ins and made modest gains in expanding our territory. This included the acquisitions of Hill Financial Savings Association, Peoples Bancorp of Lebanon, Bell Federal Savings Bank, Liberty Bank and the pending acquisitions of Commonwealth Bancshares, First National Bank of Bath and four branches of Provident Federal Savings Bank in New Jersey."
 On April 16, 1993, Meridian entered the New Jersey retail market with its acquisition of Cherry Hill National Bank. That institution was renamed "Meridian Bank, New Jersey" under a new charter. The company is also awaiting a response from the Resolution Trust Corporation regarding its proposed acquisition of 21 Security Savings branches. When that acquisition is completed, Meridian will have a significant presence in southern New Jersey.
 "These achievements are not chance happenings," McCullough said. "Our management makes a concerted effort to plot a course that takes maximum advantage of our company's strengths.
 "It's been a great ten years for me personally and for our company," McCullough said. "I don't know exactly what the next ten years will bring, of course, but I promise it won't be dull."
 /delval/
 -0- 6/29/93
 /CONTACT: George Biechler, 215-655-2470, or Bob Shade, 215-655-2463, both of Meridian Bancorp/
 (MRDN)


CO: Meridian Bancorp, Inc. ST: Pennsylvania IN: FIN SU:

JM -- PH008 -- 6637 06/29/93 10:55 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 29, 1993
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