Provident Bankshares has received all necessary regulatory approvals to proceed with its acquisition of First Citizens Financial Corp.

In a press release, Provident said shareholders from both companies will vote on the merger in meetings Aug. 20; the transaction is expected to close in late August.

Under the merger agreement, each of First Citizens' 3.2 million shares outstanding will be exchanged for 0.7665 Provident share. A spokesman said Provident will issue 2,745,945 shares under the pact. Provident has about 10 million shares outstanding.

Citizens deposit accounts will be converted into Provident accounts, and former Citizens offices will begin offering Provident's product lines Nov. 1.

First Citizens, based in Gaithersburg, Md., is a savings and loan holding company for Citizens Savings Bank.

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