CoreStates Financial Corp. has closed 20 Philadelphia-area branches as part of a consolidation effort tied to the acquisition of Germantown Savings Bank.

The $29 billion-asset banking company had announced the intended branch closings, which took place this past weekend, in December. Bank officials said at the time they would shutter nine CoreStates branches and 11 Germantown Savings Bank offices in Philadelphia and four surrounding counties.

Though the closings will not result in any layoffs of branch employees, the bank has not commented on how much of a back-office cutback would take place. They also have not commented on the cost savings from the move.

Rosemarie B. Greco, president of CoreStates Bank, said in a prepared statement that the branch closings should not affect the quality of customer service in the area.

"We are delighted to welcome Germantown Savings Bank customers fully into the CoreStates family," Ms. Greco said, "and we look forward to serving them with the complete range of CoreStates products and services."

CoreStates purchased Germantown Savings Bank in March for $260 million. The Bala Cynwyd, Pa.-based thrift had $1.5 billion of assets.

CoreStates has mounted a newspaper-based advertising campaign in its Philadelphia marketplace, using more than 30 Germantown employees and aimed at retaining the customers of its acquired bank.

This consolidation is part of a larger internal project at the bank that encompasses the reevaluation of many existing operations.

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