Valley National Bancorp of Wayne, N.J., has bought its first insurance agency.

The $6.1 billion-asset banking company, which operates 117 branches, said last week that it bought Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Co. of Totowa, N.J., for $784,000.

Commonwealth, which has 13 employees and generates annual commissions of $1.7 million, is to become a wholly owned subsidiary known as Wayne Title Inc. However, it will do business as Commonwealth All Service Title Agency. Joseph Perconti is to continue as president.

Besides expanding the business through bank referrals, the bank said it will look to buy more title agencies.

The deal came after a ruling in U.S. District Court for New Jersey to grant a license to the banking company to sell insurance.

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