New Hampshire Thrift Bancshares Inc., the parent of Lake Sunapee Bank, is entering the insurance business.

The $1 billion-asset company announced Tuesday that it is buying McCrillis and Eldredge Insurance Inc., an independent commercial and consumer agency based in Newport, N.H. A deal price was not disclosed.

Many banks are eyeing expansion in the insurance business in an effort to increase wallet share and boost fee income. In a news release, New Hampshire Thrift Bancshares, also based in Newport, said that with the addition McCrillis and Eldredge, the company can now provide a full range of financial products to its customers.

The sale is expected to close within 30 days.

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