Cecil Bancorp, Elkton, Md., has a deal to buy Columbian Bank for an undisclosed sum. Columbian Bank, a thrift, will keep its name and charter.

"We knew that a strategic alliance made good business sense, but neither of us was willing to sacrifice the ties we have built to our communities," said Mary Beyer Halsey, president of $67 million-asset Cecil.

Columbian Bank, based in Havre de Grace, Md., has one branch and $30 million of assets. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

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