Merrill Lynch Expands Retail Banking Footprint

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NEW YORK – Brokerage giant Merrill Lynch announced yesterday it has agreed to acquire First Republic Bank of San Francisco for $1.8 billion in cash and stock. The deal gives the biggest U.S. broker the ability to access to $10.7 billion of assets held by First Republic, which provides investment services including trust banking and luxury home lending. Merrill, which also owns a state chartered industrial loan company through which it accepts retail deposits, would not be affected by pending federal legislation to bar non-financial companies from the banking business. First Republic has 43 offices located in key metropolitan markets across the United States, including Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Portland, Seattle, Boston, Greenwich, Conn., and New York City and has $7.9 billion in deposits and $7.6 billion in loans.

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