First Financial Bancorp (FFBC) in Cincinnati has pushed back the expected closing date for its acquisitions of First Bexley Bank and Insight Bank.

The $6.5 billion-asset company said in a regulatory filing last week that the deals will likely close in the third quarter, pending a review by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. First Financial had expected to complete the acquisitions by June 30.

First Financial announced plans to buy the banks in December, expanding its access to the Columbus market. First Bexley, which has assets of $310 million, is located in the southeastern Columbus suburbs, while the $234 million-asset Insight is located in Worthington.

The transactions are part of a recent push by First Financial to strengthen its presence in its home state. The company in April announced its acquisition of the $121 million-asset Guernsey Bancorp, also located in Worthington. It also established commercial and residential mortgage offices in Fort Wayne, Ind., just across the Ohio border, in January.

First Financial has more than 100 branches in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky.

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