Area Bancshares, Kentucky’s largest bank holding company, is consolidating 16 of its 17 banks under a single charter and a single name — Area Bank.

The $2.8 billion-asset company, which is based in Owensboro, began the first phase of the consolidation last week. The first six banks to make the change were Owensboro National Bank, Broadway Bank and Trust of Paducah, Peoples Bank of Murray, Dees Bank of Hazel, Bank of Livingston County in Tilene, and Bank of Lyon County in Eddyville. The have 23 branches in.

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