Bank of Boston Corp., in a step to fend off mounting competition in its home market, said Wednesday it had agreed to acquire Boston Bancorp, parent of a leading thrift in the area.

The deal, with an estimated value of $220 million, follows a series of failed attempts by Bank of Boston to find a merger partner. Experts said the deal showed that the company was not pinning its hopes entirely on merging with another big bank or being acquired.

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