Community Bank System Inc. of DeWitt, N.Y., has agreed to buy Citizens National Bank of Malone, N.Y., for an undisclosed sum.
Citizens, an 88-year-old commercial bank, has $118 million of assets and five branches in three upstate New York counties. Community Bank System is one of the largest upstate bank holding companies, with 67 branches and $1.9 billion of assets.
Sanford A. Belden, president and chief executive officer of Community, said the acquisition, expected to close in the fourth quarter, would be its first bank purchase since the late 1980s. The company was attracted to Citizens' strong retail presence in markets where Community has no branches, he said.
Paul M. Cantwell Jr., Citizens president and a grandson of its founder, said the board decided to sell the privately held bank so its 300 shareholders would have a tradable stock. Customers would also gain access to more services, including Internet banking, telephone banking, and cash management, he said.
"All of these are very difficult to get into for a bank of our size," said Mr. Cantwell, who would join Community's board of directors.