1st Eastern Sells Assets to Associates

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. -- First Eastern Corp. said it has sold its consumer-finance assets to a unit of Associates Financial Services Co.

The consumer-finance assets had been held by Ideal Consumer Discount Co., a subsidiary of the Wilkes-Barre-based First Eastern. The banking company, which has $3 billion in assets, said Associates began servicing the loans of former Ideal customers June 3.

Associates, with assets of $18.8 billion, is a member of the Ford Motor Co. financial services group, which also includes First Nationwide Financial Corp., Ford Motor Credit Co., and U.S. Leasing International.

The asset sale was "part of First Eastern's plan to streamline the corporate structure and allow for increased focus on our core businesses of consumer and commercial banking and capital markets activities," said Joseph F. McKeown, executive vice president of the holding company and former president of Ideal.

First Eastern acquired Ideal in 1985 and expanded it from one office to eight in the northeastern Pennsylvania market where its two banking subsidiaries do business. The banks, First Eastern of Wilkes-Barre and Peoples First National of Hazleton, have 61 branches.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.