Bridgehampton National Buys Melville Bank

Not only did Bridgehampton National Bank, which displays pictures of local success stories in its branches, report total assets of $1.9 billion at the end of 2013, up $272 million (17 percent) from 2012, it has also swallowed up First National Bank of New York, a smaller bank based in Melville. This is not bad for a bank that began life in 1910 with $25,000 in capital and about $2,200 in deposits.

The deal increases BNB’s branch locations from 23 to 26, giving it its first two in Nassau County “and enhances our asset generation capabilities,” said Kevin O'Connor, president and chief executive of Bridge Bancorp, B.N.B.’s parent company.

While the announcement of the agreement to acquire First National took place in September, the closing is scheduled for today, with its branches opening as B.N.B. on Tuesday. Total assets will be over the $2 billion mark. A meeting of First National’s shareholders was held February 12 where shareholder approval was obtained.

Now may be the time to apply for a loan to replace that septic tank or expand your business, as the bank reported a rise in loans last year of 27 percent to more than $1 billion. A look at the bank’s website will tell you that many of our neighbors have received loans, including Jane Lappin of Wainscott Farms.

Last year was marked by “significant achievements” for the institution, which ranked at number 20 in the top community banks in the nation in 2012, according to American Banker. Deposits were on the upswing, totaling $1.54 billion at year’s end, a 9-percent increase from 2012.
With “record levels of revenues and net income," according to Mr. O’Connor, shareholders are sitting pretty. “We are one of few Long Island banks not closing branches,” said Claudia Pilato, director of marketing. “We’re opening branches.”