consolidate its eight Kansas charters by yearend to reduce regulatory costs and allow its local bank presidents to focus more on their communities.

After the consolidation, all the banks will operate under the Gold Bank name. Currently, only the company's flagship bank uses it.

The charter announcement comes just two days after the $1.3 billion-asset company one of the nation's fastest growing and most acquisitive announced plans to buy banks in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri in three deals worth a combined $119 million.

Gold Banc plans to phase the Kansas bank, Linn County Bank of LaCygne, into the consolidated charter after buying it early next year, said Keith Bouchey, executive vice president of mergers and acquisitions.

"There will obviously be quite a bit of cost savings" from the consolidation, Mr. Bouchey said.

Michael W. Gullion, Gold Banc's chairman and chief executive officer, said the move should allow "local presidents to spend 100% of their time on the business of serving their communities."

-- Craig Woker

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