Interwest Bancorp's merger with Central Bancorp. is expected to close Aug. 31, sooner than previously expected.

Central's two subsidiary banks will change their names to Interwest Bank in subsequent months, and the banks' systems will be converted Sept. 14.

"One name is better for long-term continuity and simplicity for customers, our employees, and shareholders," said Gary M. Bolyard, chief executive officer of Wenatchee-based Central. "Having one name will eliminate customer confusion."

Under terms of the agreement, the merger will be accounted for as a pooling transaction, and each outstanding share of Central common stock will be automatically converted into shares of Interwest Bancorp common stock.

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