Susquehanna Bancshares, which bears the name of the river that flows through the heart of its market area, is the holding company for Susquehanna Bank. The bank serves individuals and regional businesses through more than 250 branches in south-central and southeastern Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, and West Virginia. It offers standard services such as deposits, loans, and credit cards. Non-banking subsidiaries provide wealth management, insurance brokerage and employee benefits, and vehicle leasing. Loans secured by commercial and residential real estate account for more nearly 60% of the bank's portfolio. Susquehanna Bancshares boasts assets of some $17.5 billion.
A regional financial services holding company, Susquehanna's operations include a commercial bank that provides financial services at more than 250 office locations in the Mid-Atlantic region. Its business is divided into bank and non-bank subsidiaries. The commercial bank business comprises three regions: PA Division (with about 110 banking offices), MD Division (60 banking offices), and DV Division (more than 70 banking offices). Susquehanna's non-banking units include Susquehanna Trust & Investment Company, Valley Forge Asset Management Corp., Stratton Management Company, The Addis Group, and Boston Service Company. The company's mortgage division also opened an operations center located in New York, where bank employees set up, process, and underwrite residential mortgage loans for customers in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, West Virginia, Delaware, and Virginia.
Susquehanna Bancshares has grown by acquiring new customers in existing and new markets. It also looks for acquisitions in strategic markets. The company makes a point to regularly cross-sell its financial services and products to its customers. Its long-term strategy involves enhancing customer relationships through sales and service while focusing on managing risk. The company leverages the use of rewards, teamwork, training, communications technology, and its organizational structure to achieve its strategic objectives. With plans to bring together more than 100 employees from four states, Susquehanna Bank is developing a centralized training facility located in Mountville. The office boasts high-tech classrooms where employees from different locations can interact.
Total revenue in 2011 inched upward slightly from 2010 levels by nearly 2%. Its primary source of operating income -- net interest income -- increased to $433.2 million in 2011 from $426.5 million in 2010. The company's $7.8 million increase in its taxable equivalent net interest income in 2011 over 2010 numbers can be attributed to a more than $441 million rise in its average earning asset volumes. Susquehanna's non-interest income (excluding the net realized gain through acquisitions) dropped $8.6 million (roughly 6%) in 2011 vs. 2010. The company points to a variety of factors for the decrease, such as a $9 million dip in net realized gain on securities and a decrease of $2.7 million in service charges on deposit accounts. In general, cash flow in 2011 resulted in a greater cash inflow of $72 million against a cash outflow of $38 million in 2010. Overall, the company has not been immune to the economic recession. To ride it out, Susquehanna has shuttered more than a dozen branches in Pennsylvania as it worked to consolidate operations and cut costs. Susquehanna Bancshares returned to profitability in 2010 as the economy exhibited signs of a rebound and the company's provisions for loan and lease losses decreased.
Mergers & Acquisitions
The bank has expanded its operations by strengthening its foothold in existing markets though acquisitions. Its most recent purchase of Tower Bancorp, completed in 2012 for a total value of $389 million, added about 50 branches in central Pennsylvania. In 2011 the company bought Abington Bancorp in a deal valued at more than $150 million that gave Susquehanna 20 branches in suburban Philadelphia. To date, the holding company's purchase of Community Banks in 2007 represented its largest acquisition resulting in an additional 75 branches in southeastern Pennsylvania. Susquehanna Bancshares has also built its retirement planning and investment management operations through acquisitions. Looking to the future, the company considers buying other banks that serve four major growth corridors: the Lancaster/York/Baltimore area, the Greater Delaware Valley area, the Interstate 81 corridor, and existing market areas that fill the gaps it currently serves. – less