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Eastern Bank, The Sharon Co-operative Bank complete merger
Partnership will enhance convenience and service for consumers and businesses
 
SHARON, Mass., May 14, 2007 – Eastern Bank and The Sharon Co-operative Bank completed their merger over the weekend, giving Eastern 74 locations across eastern Massachusetts.

The addition of Sharon Co-operative’s location at 7 S. Main St. will enhance convenience for Sharon-area customers of both banks. Eastern already has an office inside of Shaw’s Supermarket on the Sharon-Foxborough line, along with branches in Stoughton, Canton and 30 other locations south of Boston.

“I’m pleased that this merger will provide us with the opportunity to better serve the residents of Sharon and nearby towns,” said Richard E. Holbrook, chairman and CEO of Eastern Bank.  “Consumers and businesses will have more products, more services and more convenience, which will be delivered with the same superior service that customers have come to expect from our two banks.”

Eastern, which has a strong history of giving back to the communities it serves, has committed to providing Sharon and the local area with a minimum of $500,000 in charitable contributions over the next three years.

Sharon Co-operative depositors overwhelmingly approved the merger during a special meeting in March. Following regulatory approvals, the merger became official May 12. Over the weekend, new signs and computer systems were installed at the South Main Street office, as Sharon Co-op completed its merger with Eastern.

“Our bank has served Sharon well since 1912, and this partnership with Eastern will ensure that our customers have access to the finest banking services for the future,” said Edward M. Berger, chairman of the Board of The Sharon Co-operative Bank. Berger and his fellow board members will remain as trustees of Eastern Bank Corporation. No locations will be closed as a result of the merger and no layoffs will occur.

About Eastern Bank
Founded in 1818 and based in Boston, Eastern Bank is the largest independent, mutually owned commercial banking franchise in New England.  With $6.5 billion in assets and 74 branches stretching from Merrimack Valley to Cape Cod, Eastern offers superior service, convenience and a full range of financial products for consumers, businesses, investors, government agencies and not-for-profit organizations.  Its subsidiaries include Eastern Insurance and Fantini & Gorga, a real estate advisory firm.

For more information, contact: Andrew Ravens, Public Relations, Eastern Bank,(781) 598-8528, or e-mail Andrew Ravens.