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With Howard deal, FNB accelerates decade-long effort to grow in Maryland

Vincent J. Delie, president and CEO of FNB.

Vincent J. Delie, president and CEO of FNB.

The company acquiring Howard Bank, which is currently Baltimore’s largest local bank, might not ring a bell the way national heavy-hitters like M&T, PNC and Bank of America do. But the regional bank, which is based in Pittsburgh, isn’t a stranger to Maryland or the Baltimore marketplace either.

What is FNB’s history in Maryland?

Having entered the state about eight years ago through Annapolis, and, soon after, expanded into the Baltimore area, F.N.B Corporation currently runs 25 locations and over 100 ATMs in Maryland.

The parent company of First National Bank, which is based in Pittsburgh, originally expanded into the state through a merger with Annapolis Bancorp, Inc., acquiring eight BankAnnapolis locations in Anne Arundel and Queen Anne’s counties.

With this acquisition, the company established its new Maryland region, which Mac Tisdale, a former city manager for SunTrust Bank was tapped to lead. The Maryland region has since been reworked as the mid-Atlantic region, to include northern Virginia and Washington, with Tisdale still at the helm.

Then, the company entered the Baltimore market through the acquisition of the parent company of Baltimore County Savings Bank and its 16 locations in the greater Baltimore area, thrusting FNB into a top-10 spot for deposit market share in the region. FNB also established a Maryland headquarters in downtown Baltimore at 300 E. Lombard Street.

FNB also acquired OBA Financial Services, Inc., the Germantown-based holding company of OBA Bank, which had six locations, in 2014.

Since the company’s arrival in Baltimore eight years ago, it has seen loan growth of 34% on a compounded annual basis. At 0.26%, FNB has the twelfth-highest deposit market share of banks in the city, as of 2020; after acquiring Howard, which currently has the sixth spot, it will have 0.98%.

The purchase of Howard Bank will be FNB’s largest acquisition in the region, with price tag of the company being $418 million in stock. For comparison, the acquisition of BCSB in 2013 cost FNB only $79 million in stock.

Where else is FNB expanding?

Most recently, FNB has seemingly been focused on expanding its reach in the south and in the D.C. metropolitan area. In 2018, it opened two locations in Charleston, South Carolina, and added a third this year. FNB also opened a retail location in Asheville in 2020.

The company has been building its presence in the D.C. metro area for several years. Earlier this year, it announced a new location in Tysons, Virginia, after opening both an office in D.C. and a loan origination center in Fairfax, Virginia, in 2020.

In total, the company has almost 340 banking offices and over 800 ATMs in seven states and Washington D.C.

Like many banks, F.N.B Corporation, the parent company of First National Bank, has been around since the Civil War — literally. It first opened in Mercer County, Pennsylvania, in 1864, the year before the war ended.

The bank, which offers commercial banking, consumer banking and wealth management services, has grown significantly in recent decades, especially under the leadership of current president and CEO Vincent Delie, who has been with the company since 2005, president since 2011 and CEO since 2012. He is also chairman of the board for FNB and First National Bank.

In Delie’s tenure, FNB has nearly tripled its market capitalization, grown its geographic footprint, produced significant revenue growth and expanded profitability. The company has also completed 15 acquisitions with Delie as president, and has expanded into a number of markets, including Maryland.

FNB is publicly traded on the NYSE with a market capitalization of $4 billion as of April 19, 2021, has more than 4,100 employees and 2.7 million customers, and over $38 billion in assets. It offers its own innovative app for customers to use and has won a number of awards of excellence, such as ranking on Forbes 2021 list of World’s Best Banks and being named as a Top Workplace in 2021.

What does the future hold for FNB and its presence in Maryland?

It’s still early in the process of combining Howard and FNB, so details of the merger are somewhat murky. A spokeswoman for FNB couldn’t yet say whether all Howard Bank locations will continue operating as bank offices, but if they are, they would be converted into First National Bank branches.

Generally speaking, FNB’s top priorities right now include continuing to improve and advance its digital technologies and providing customers with convenient office locations, as well as ensuring the merger with Howard happens as smoothly as possible.

“The future for our combine organization would be having the best of both worlds: Having convenient locations that are technologically advanced where you can have more consultative engagement and also having the customers have an online resource that is one of the best in the industry,” Delie said.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this article incorrectly reported that FNB’s market share in Baltimore is just under 3.0% and will rise to nearly 5.5% after merging with Howard Bank, and that FNB and Howard have the seventh and ninth highest market shares in the jurisdiction. Those are the figures for Baltimore County. In Baltimore, FNB’s market share is 0.26%, the twelfth highest in the city, and will rise to 0.98% after merging with Howard Bank, which is sixth.


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