Park National Corp. is the latest community bank to take advantage of KeyCorp's efforts to get out of small-town markets.

Park National this week signed an agreement to acquire three branches of KeyBank, a unit of $67.9 billion-asset KeyCorp, for an undisclosed sum. The branches are in Lancaster, Ohio. Fifty-three-branch Park National has $1.6 billion of assets.

David C. Bowers, Park National chief financial officer, said his banking company considered Cleveland-based KeyBank one of its biggest competitors in the Lancaster market.

KeyCorp's departure from Lancaster is part of the megabank's plan to sell off 140 branches and close 140 branches in nonmetropolitan areas. Community banks in several states have been vying for the castoff branches, deposits, and loans.

Park National is the fourth Ohio community bank to buy branches from KeyCorp this year. Most recently, First Federal Financial Services Corp., Wooster, agreed to buy seven KeyBank branches last month.

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