Howard Bancorp, a US-based bank holding company, has completed the acquisition of First Mariner Bank, for an undisclosed sum.

Now, the joint Howard team will start integration of the First Mariner’s staff, branches as well as systems.

The integrated entity will operate under the Howard Bank name. It will manage a network of 21 bank branches in the Greater Baltimore Metropolitan Area.

Howard Bancorp will transfer its corporate headquarters from Ellicott City, Maryland, to First Mariner’s headquarters in Baltimore City, Maryland.

Howard Bank chairman and CEO said: “The combination of our two banks creates a uniquely winning proposition for our customers, prospective customers and centres of influence in Baltimore’s business community.

“With the doubling of the shared focus on small and medium-sized businesses, the shared expertise and the commitment of our local policy makers who are exclusively focused on this marketplace, we can achieve the best of both, strong and local, for the businesses that shape the fabric of this region.”

First Mariner CEO Robert Kunisch will join the Howard Bancorp and Howard Bank boards of directors and assume the role of president of Howard Bancorp and Howard Bank.

Kunisch said: “We see an incredible opportunity to continue to build Howard Bank into an institution that is unmatched in serving the Baltimore region’s business community. The combination provides more lending muscle and an energized team that will have a positive impact on businesses throughout the region.”

With the acquisition of First Mariner, Howard Bancorp will have pro forma assets of $2.1bn, pro forma loans of $1.6bn and pro forma deposits of $1.6bn, based on year-end financial data from 2017.