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WSFS combines with Beneficial in $1.5 billion deal

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WSFS Financial Corporation and Beneficial Bancorp, Inc. today announced the signing of an agreement to combine.

As part of the $1.5 billion deal, subsidiaries WSFS Bank and Beneficial Bank will merge under the WSFS name. The combined company will be the largest, locally-based community bank in the Greater Delaware Valley.

WSFS operates 77 offices, including 60 banking offices, many in Delaware and southeastern Pennsylvania. Beneficial operates 72 offices, including 61 banking offices, many in Philadelphia and surrounding counties.

The banks also share similar histories. WSFS Bank was founded as Wilmington Savings Fund Society in 1832. Beneficial was founded in 1853 in Philadelphia. Both emphasized thrift and savings for workers.

“This is an historic combination,” said Mark A. Turner, WSFS’ Chairman and president and CEO. “As a native Philadelphian and a lifelong resident of the Delaware Valley, I believe this combination provides a compelling opportunity to serve our combined markets as it fills a long-standing gap between big banks and smaller community banks in this market.”

The agreement marks the eight acquisition by WSFS since 2010. Over the next two years, the company anticipates consolidating approximately 25 percent of the combined banking offices due to overlapping service areas. It also plans to invest $32 million incrementally into new technology and delivery systems.

“We strongly believe there is value in partnering with WSFS and combining the strengths of our institutions,”  said Gerard P. Cuddy, president and CEO of Beneficial. “This is a sound decision for Beneficial, our stockholders, our employees and the communities we serve. We are combining with WSFS because it is an established institution with deep roots in the Delaware Valley, shares our values, and has the utmost respect for Beneficial’s legacy.”

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