US-based Howard Bancorp has secured all the essential regulatory approvals to complete the acquisition of 1st Mariner Bank.

As a result, the deal is scheduled to be completed on 28 February 2018 and 1st Mariner customers will become Howard Bank customers starting 1 March 2018.

In August last year, Maryland-based Howard Bancorp agreed to acquire 1st Mariner Bank in a deal valued at approximately $163.4m.

The integrated entity will operate 21 offices, with assets of $2.1bn, portfolio loans of $1.5bn and deposits of $1.6bn.

The combined business will operate under the brand name of Howard Bank and will be based in Baltimore.

1st Mariner CEO Robert Kunisch will assume the role of president and the board of directors at Howard after the completion of the merger, while Howard chairman and CEO Mary Ann Scully will retain her existing role.

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At the time of announcing the deal, Scully said: “Both Howard and 1st Mariner share a focus on privately held businesses in the Greater Baltimore market. We think this transaction is transformational not only for our shareholders but also for our teams, our customers, and the Greater Baltimore community.

“We are excited to have the 1st Mariner customers, board members and staff join us, and we look forward to being welcomed by them.”