Fleet Financial Group dismissed higher bids by First Fidelity Bancorp. and Citizens Financial Group Inc. in awarding 25 Hartford branches to two Connecticut community banks, a source close to the negotiations said.

The decision to accept the lower bid from the community banks appears to be an effort to make it more difficult for strong competitors to build up a presence in Fleet's home market, the source said.

Limited Time Offer

Save $400 off your subscription. Special offer ends April 30, 2017.

14-Day Free Trial

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