Dollar Bank in Pittsburgh ended a 32-year break from acquisitions earlier this year.

It didn't take nearly that long for the $7.4 billion-asset mutual to announce its next deal.

Dollar said in a press release Wednesday that it will merge with Progressive-Home Federal Savings and Loan Association, which is also based in Pittsburgh. Founded in 1942, the $51.4 million-asset Progressive-Home has two branches in Pittsburgh's Allentown and Dormont neighborhoods.

Dollar, which lacks a presence in either community, said it expects to complete the merger with Progressive-Home during the first quarter.

The deal comes less than four months after Dollar agreed to absorb the $112 million-asset Bank @lantec in Virginia Beach, Va. That deal is expected to close by the end of this year.

All of the institutions are depositor-owned mutual banks, so no money will change hands. Still, it's clear that Dollar Bank is the dominant partner. Bank @lantec and Progressive-Home will adopt the Dollar brand and Jim McQuade, Dollar's president and chief executive, will lead the combined institution.

Dollar remains open to more deals with small mutuals grappling with soaring technology and compliance costs, McQuade said.

"Dollar Bank can merge with these like-minded mutual institutions, offering them cutting-edge products, services and compliance and technology support," McQuade said in Wednesday's release. "We want to use our significant financial strength to expand our footprint in the Pittsburgh market, as well as new markets, when appropriate."

Progressive-Home fits that template. The thrift has just 10 employees and does not offer online banking. Martin Keib, Progressive-Home's president and chief executive, said in the release that compliance and technology costs have cut deeply into profitability at small mutuals. "Our merger … will expand the product offerings for our members and provide the technology enhancements required of today's banks to remain competitive," he said.

"There's going to be growth associated with this," Joseph Smith, Dollar's senior vice president for marketing, said in an interview.

Smith, who called mutuality "the purest form of banking," said he would work harder to highlight Dollar's cooperative structure.

"It's a different option than stock-based institutions," Smith said. "I have to do a better job of bringing that to light."

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