The Florida Bankers Association and the Community Bankers of Florida will combine Jan. 1.

The merged group will keep the Florida Bankers name, and its head, Alex Sanchez, will remain chief executive officer. Jeffrey Grady, executive director of the Community Bankers, will become chief operating officer of the combined group. The combined FBA will have about 400 members.

Florida will join Tennessee and North Carolina as the only states with a single group affiliated with the American Bankers Association, Independent Bankers Association of America, and America's Community Bankers. The Florida League of Financial Institutions, the state's thrift trade group, merged into the FBA in 1994.

-Scott Barancik and Louis Whiteman

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