A Danville banking mainstay has joined with a company that owns financial institutions in Hazard and Frankfort, subject to regulatory approval.
A press release Thursday said CKF Bancorp, the holding company for the Danville-based Central Kentucky Federal Savings Bank, will merge with Kentucky First Federal Bancorp, which owns First Federal Savings and Loan of Hazard and First Federal Savings Bank of Frankfort.
“As a representative of community banks with two of the longest tenures of continuous service to their respective communities in the state (Danville since 1886 and Lancaster since 1873), I believe this merger will enhance our tradition and provide additional opportunities for our customers,” William H. Johnson, president and chief executive officer of CKF Bancorp, said.
“Our staff, management, and board are looking forward to serving our existing customers and attracting new ones as well.”
Johnson said Central Kentucky Federal has about 1,600 loan customers and 3,500-4,000 savings, checking and certificate of deposit customers each representing over $100 million in business.
In a phone interview today, he said the transaction, which has been in the works for more than two years, is a “merger of equals” and believes customers likely will not notice a big difference.
“It is about as seamless as possible,” Johnson said. “It allows us to be part of a larger organization and puts us in a tremendous capital position. It will allow us to serve our customers in the way they’ve grown accustomed to and attract new customers in the future.”
In addition to its main offices on Main Street, Central Kentucky Federal Savings has full-service branches in Danville and Lancaster. For now, that will remain the same, but Johnson said new branches could be added in the future as the Hazard and Frankfort banks come fully on board.
All 25 staff members will be retained at the main office and branches, and all board members will remain on the combined board of directors for the banks, according to Johnson.
First Federal Savings and Loan has one banking office in Hazard, while First Federal Savings Bank operates three offices in Frankfort. Kentucky First Federal Bancorp shares are traded on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol KFFB.
Johnson said banks are looking for ways to cope with financial regulations and compliance, which he expects will lead to more consolidations over the next few years.