Banks from Tucson, Scottsdale plan merger

Boards of directors OK deal; shareholders, regulators to weigh in
2013-03-02T00:00:00Z Banks from Tucson, Scottsdale plan mergerArizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
March 02, 2013 12:00 am  • 

A Tucson bank is poised to merge with a Scottsdale bank this summer.

Commerce Bank of Arizona, based at 3805 E. Broadway, is being bought by First Scottsdale Bank.

The merger has been approved by both banks' boards of directors and awaits approval from shareholders and federal regulators.

The new company will have more than $300 million in combined assets and undertake a $10 million common equity offering, said John S. Lewis, president and CEO of Commerce Bank, who is based out of the Scottsdale branch.

He said the transition will be "seamless" to customers and the name will remain.

"The benefit to us is that it provides us a statewide presence," he said.

Commerce has five branches in Tucson plus one in Mesa and one in Scottsdale.

Bank officials hope to finalize the merger by the end of June, Lewis said.

John P. Lewis, a longtime Tucson banker, will come out of retirement to run the operation.

That will give John S. Lewis - no relation - the chance to trade places with him.

"I'm really looking forward" to retirement, he said.

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