KEARNEY — After 132 years in business, KCB Bank is changing hands and merging with Academy Bank, a move being finalized this fall.
“We are excited for this partnership and what it means for us and our customers. Academy Bank was ranked by the Kansas City Business Journal as the third-strongest large bank in the area and KCB Bank was the second-strongest midsize bank,” said KCB President and Chief Executive Officer Larry Ellington in a letter to customers posted online at www.kcbbank.com. “... The merger of two strong community banks further ensures the continuation of our community banking efforts and provides stability over the longer term.”
KCB Bank, under holding company Bancshares of Missouri, Inc., is a $255 million bank headquartered in Kearney. It currently has branches in Kearney, Liberty, Gladstone and Bonner Springs, Kansas. Academy Bank is a $1.6 billion community bank with 72 banking centers located in Missouri, Kansas, Colorado and Arizona, and another six scheduled to open in 2019.
Under the merger, KCB Bank customers will have access to 20 additional banking centers in the Kansas City metro area and 72 locations throughout Missouri, Kansas, Colorado and Arizona.
“We believe that the banking customer will be impacted in a positive way as Academy Bank will be able to offer former KCB customers access to additional banking center locations including 32 locations in the Missouri/Kansas region, with an additional 3 scheduled to open in 2019; more ATMs; Academy Express ITMs with video tellers available 7 days a week; additional online and mobile banking options; and services for retail clients combined with greater access to commercial cash management services, mortgage products and commercial banking expertise,” said Shelly Handy, KCB chief credit officer, in an email to the Courier-Tribune.
Handy said once the merger is finalized in the fourth quarter of 2019, all former KCB locations will become Academy branches.
For other business tenants who have space in the KCB headquarters off Kearney’s Sam Barr Drive roundabout, it should remain business as usual.
“Academy does not have any planned changes for the office tenants,” Handy said.
Academy Bank CEO Paul Holewinski said his company is pleased with the merger of two family-owned banking institutions.
“We believe that KCB Bank is a good strategic and cultural fit for our company and consistent with our growth strategy,” he said via a release. “The transaction will strengthen our position north of the river and opens up new opportunities with an established and proven banking team.”
Like KCB, Ellington said Academy Bank is known for community involvement.
“Each bank has a strong culture of commitment to their communities and together this commitment can be continued and strengthened. This is a great opportunity for us to grow together,” he said.