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THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre
THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre
The Investors Bank team.

New Jersey-based Investors Bank deposited $135 million in cash to acquire Astoria’s Marathon Bank, “investing” in its expansion into the Empire State.

“Marathon is a highly regarded commercial bank whose franchise will continue the transformation of Investors into a full-service commercial bank,” said Kevin Cummings, president and CEO of Investors Bancorp. “Additionally, this transaction is a continuation of our strategy of expansion into the New York markets and more than doubles our existing New York branch network.”

Marathon Bank has $902 million in assets, $783 million in deposits, and 13 full-service branches in the metropolitan area. As a result of the purchase of Marathon, Investors Bank will have 22 branches in New York with approximately $1.3 billion in deposits.

Customers had mixed reaction to the sale.

“I didn’t know about that [the sale],” said Mara Morales, who added she may consider leaving “if changes are big.”

However, Marathon customer Marc Michalic said “I don’t really care. They are basically going to keep the same people.”

Murmurs of Marathon on the selling block had been buzzing in the banking industry long before the June 14 announcement, amid published reports that its parent company, Piraeus Bank S.A. of Greece, was struggling in the currently ailing Greek economy.

Marathon officials praised Investors Bank’s community-first approach.

“Investors has demonstrated a strong commitment to the Greek community and to the commercial real estate market,” said Paul Stathoulopoulos, president and CEO of Marathon Banking Corporation, who will be joining the board of directors at Investors. “We are pleased to form this partnership with a bank that cares about their communities and can offer Marathon National Bank’s customers enhanced and expanded services.”

At this time it is unclear when Investors Banks will replace Marathon Bank branches. According to Investors Bank the sale is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year.

Additional reporting by Christopher Brito

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