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Sun Bancorp Inc. to buy Community Bank

Inependent

BY LINDA DeNICOLA

Staff Writer

FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP — So many things are bigger today — houses, people, fast food meals, SUVs, merged telecommunications companies and, over the last few years, bank corporations.

The Community Bank of New Jersey, with headquarters on Route 9 in the township and branches throughout western Monmouth County, is being bought by Sun Bancorp Inc. of Vineland for $83.2 million. The deal will create a larger community bank corporation, but one that will continue to cater to the needs of the community.

According to Howard Schoor, one of the founders of Community Bank, a key point in the merger is that the combined company is still going to be a community bank, but one that is going to be bigger and better than either of the two banks alone.

“Sun has the same philosophy and culture regarding customer service and what our role is in the community. I believe what I’ve said to others, that this was the right time for the right reasons with the right bank,” Schoor said. “We are pretty excited that this will be good for customers, shareholders and most of our employees. There is always some consolidation and cost savings with back office personnel.”

Schoor explained that by back office personnel he means the staff members who process checks and manage interaction with the federal reserve. Those jobs will be consolidated, he said.

“We anticipate that all of the front line staff will remain the same. The Community Bank has Saturday lobby hours and most have Sunday hours. That won’t change,” he said, adding that Sun has 70 branches and wants to be the premier community bank in every town it serves.

“When you pick up the phone you can talk to the branch manager, unlike some banks where you can’t even reach your local branch on the phone,” Schoor said, adding, “It’s not about getting every efficiency out of the system so you can make more money.”

The only physical thing about the merged bank that will change is the name. It will carry the Sun National Bank name, Schoor said.

When the deal is finalized sometime in early summer, the new bank will have $3.2 billion in assets and will offer customers more in the way of products. Schoor explained that there are regula­tory approvals to come and since both companies are listed on the stock ex­change the Securities and Exchange Commission has to review the action.

“It’s fairly perfunctory,” he said.

The present Community Bank, whose holding company is Community Bancorp of New Jersey, has branches in Freehold Township, Freehold Borough. Colts Neck, Howell, Manalapan, Matawan and Shrewsbury.

Sun has four branches in Monmouth County. According to Schoor, Sun may close branches in Freehold and Eatontown and merge them with the Freehold Township branch. Two other branches, in Red Bank and Manasquan, will remain, as well as eight branches Sun has in Ocean County.

Copyright © 2011 Howard Schoor Comanies

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