The Bank Slate


Eastern Bank to sell cannibis-related business

Eastern Bankshares in Boston has agreed to sell its cannabis-related business to NB Financial in Needham, Mass. 

The $17 billion-asset Eastern said in a press release Friday that it will also sell the money service business deposit relationships obtained from its acquisition of Century Bancorp. The sale is expected to close in the first half of this year. 

Eastern did not disclose how much the $2.9 billion-asset parent of Needham Bank will pay for the businesses.

We have spent considerable time reviewing the cannabis banking operation and remain very impressed with how these businesses have been served,” Bob Rivers, Eastern’s chairman and CEO, said in the release. 

“We have determined the business is not well-aligned with our approach to serving our business customers due to the special handling required with meeting the banking needs of cannabis-related businesses at this time,” Rivers added. Needham “has solid capabilities to provide extensive service to this important business sector.” 

“The cannabis industry is rapidly growing, and this transaction presents an exciting opportunity and excellent entry into this evolving and dynamic segment,” said Joseph Campanelli, Needham’s president and CEO. 

Paul Evangelista, who launched and led the cannabis banking strategy at Century, plans to join Needham.

Eastern agreed last year to sell Century’s headquarters building for $20.5 million.

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