F.N.B. Corp. in Hermitage, Pa., is setting up a regional headquarters in downtown Baltimore.

F.N.B. will occupy more than 11,000 square feet in the former First National Bank building on Lombard Street, and plans to open the headquarters by the end of the year, $12.6 billion-asset company announced Tuesday. The space will house an F.N.B. branch as well as professional staff, the bank said.

F.N.B. has been making a push into the Maryland market, which it entered in April of this year with the closing of its acquisition of Annapolis Bancorp. Since then, F.N.B. has hired former SunTrust (STI) executives J. MacGregor Tisdale and Darlene Miglioretti as Maryland regional president and retail banking executive, respectively.

In June, F.N.B. agreed to buy BCSB Bancorp for $79 million in stock, which would add approximately $640 million in assets and 16 offices in the Baltimore area. The merger, expected to close in next year's first quarter, would give it 25 branches in the Baltimore area and rank it among the region's 10 largest banks by deposit share.

"Establishing a regional headquarters in downtown Baltimore demonstrates our commitment to support the local business community and to contribute to the city's economic viability," Vincent Delie, the president and chief executive of F.N.B., in the news release.

F.N.B. has also announced plans to open a regional office in Cleveland as it expands into the city through its acquisition of PVF Capital.

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