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Eastern Bank successfully completes merger with MASSBANK
Football legend Doug Flutie to welcome new customers in Chelmsford
 
BOSTON, Oct. 14, 2008 – Doug Flutie today will quarterback the celebration of Eastern Bank and MASSBANK’s successful merger by greeting new customers and hosting a passing contest at Eastern’s new branch in Chelmsford.

Eastern completed the merger over Columbus Day weekend, converting 44,000 former MASSBANK customer accounts to Eastern and changing signs, fixtures and computer systems in 15 branches across Middlesex County. The merger gives Eastern almost 90 branch locations and more than 100 ATMs across eastern Massachusetts.

To commemorate Eastern’s third merger in the past four years, Flutie, the bank’s celebrity spokesman, will appear today at 3 p.m. at Eastern Bank, 17 North Road, Chelmsford (a former MASSBANK branch).

“We’re pleased to have Doug Flutie join us as we welcome our new customers to Eastern,” said Richard E. Holbrook, Eastern’s chairman and CEO.  “We’re truly excited about the opportunity to serve consumers and businesses in these new communities and to demonstrate to them what ‘True Blue’ banking is all about.”

The Flutie appearance is the second major merger-related event planned by Eastern. The Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation will soon distribute $50,000 in grant money to not-for-profit organizations headquartered in former MASSBANK communities.  Nominated by the public over the last month, 20 organizations will each receive $2,500 donations made in honor of Eastern’s merger with MASSBANK, reflecting Eastern’s commitment to the communities within its marketplace.

On Sept. 3, 2008, Eastern acquired MASSBANK Corp. in a cash transaction valued at $170 million. The acquisition created a $7.1 billion commercial bank serving more than 500,000 consumers and business across eastern Massachusetts.  The purchase also reflects Eastern’s financial strength, which is based upon steady, prudent growth since its founding 190 years ago in Salem, Mass.  Eastern is now one of the largest mutually owned banks in the country.

“Eastern has a bright future,” Holbrook said.  “In addition to acquiring MASSBANK, we’re hiring new commercial and consumer bankers to help us bring new customers to Eastern. Last month we opened a new branch in Chelsea.  In short, while mindful of the need to manage carefully during these turbulent economic times, we’re positioning ourselves for greater success in the years ahead.”

MASSBANK operated 15 branches in Reading, Chelmsford, Dracut, Everett, Lowell, Medford, Melrose, Stoneham, Tewksbury, Westford and Wilmington.

Former MASSBANK customers will find a smooth transition to Eastern and greater access to products and services.  The same names and familiar faces will continue to serve customers at Eastern’s new branches. Business hours at every branch will also remain unchanged to ensure a successful transition.

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 $6.8 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.