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Bank sale still waiting on regulators



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February 06, 2013 - It's been more than two months since Oxford Bank stockholders voted to sell all their shares to the Farmington Hills-based Level One Bank, but the deal has yet to be finalized.

"Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of news to share," said Patrick Fehring, president and CEO of Level One, founded in 2007. "We're still waiting for things to go through the regulatory cycle."

The sale must be still approved by three regulatory bodies the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, the Michigan Office of Finance and Insurance Regulation and the Federal Insurance Deposit Corporation.

"If you look at trends, it does seem like regulatory agencies are taking some time (reviewing) all transactions," Fehring said. "Hopefully, we get that completed shortly."

Fehring said he can't really predict when the sale will be finalized, but "I would hope that things would move forward here this spring."

When the deal closes, all eight Oxford Bank branches will change their name to Level One and the 129-year-old local financial institution will cease to exist as an independent entity. Its operations will be merged with Level One's existing seven branches.

Back in November, Oxford Bank shareholders voted to sell all 1,156,690 of the institution's outstanding shares to Level One for $3 each. In essence, Level One is purchasing Oxford Bank and all of its assets for $3.47 million.

When combined, the two banks will have approximately $750 million in assets.

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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