The following is an outline of how to create an effective
communications program in connection with a merger or
The process starts by sending a letter to the soon-to-be-acquired customers as soon as possible after the merger or
acquisition is announced. It is during the days immediately
following the announcement that rumors can spread and
negative publicity can result.
Signed by the CEOs of both banks, this first letter will
reassure customers that the merger will proceed smoothly
and that customers will benefit though enhanced service
offerings, more branches, etc. They should be told that they
will be getting specific news about their accounts as the
“With two recent acquisitions and one merger of equals
under our belts, we know the importance of timely, accurate
communications,” says Dena Hall, regional president and
chief marketing officer for United Bank (assets: $5 billion),
Glastonbury, Conn. “For us, it’s all about protecting the
value of our franchise in the months immediately before
and after the systems conversion. The importance of plan-
ning and coordination across all lines of business cannot be
From a marketing perspective, the most important thing
to remember is that communication is key. The customers of
the institution you are acquiring may or may not have been
through a previous merger experience so communicating
to them clearly and often will make them feel much more
comfortable and better informed about what is going on.
“We over-communicated with the customers and the staff
of the banks we acquired to be sure that everyone knew what
to expect and when to expect it,” observes Hall. “We followed
up most printed communications with an electronic message
delivered by email to ensure that we utilized multiple communication channels.
“For our recent merger of equals with Rockville Bank,
we also launched a website dedicated to merger and conversion related communications. All printed communications,
including our conversion product guide, are posted on this
site, making it easy for our customers and staff to access for
Key communications goals
“Placing emphasis on the customer experience during an
acquisition helps safeguard the relationships for long-term
success,” says Elizabeth A. Mach, CFMP, vice president, marketing officer at Berkshire Bank (assets: $6.3 billion), Pittsfield.
“Set expectations for customers about what changes will occur
and when, and talk about change from their perspective, not
yours. With a clear and effective communications strategy,
you can help customers to accept change.
The process starts by communicating to the
soon-to-be-acquired customers as soon as possible
Elizabeth A. Mach,
CFMP, Vice President,
24 North Street ; P.O. Box 1308 ; Pittsfield, MA 01202 ; 800.773.5601 M mber FDIC
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Dear Valued Customer:
We are pleased to welcome you to the Berkshire Bank family and are excited to have the opportunity to
serve your financial needs. As the transition to Berkshire Bank approaches, we want to provide you with
essential information about your accounts.
Our first priority is to make the transition to Berkshire Bank as easy as possible for you. The transition will
begin at noon on Friday, January 17, 2014 when your Bank of America banking center closes and will
conclude when it re-opens as a Berkshire Bank branch on Tuesday, January 21, 2014.
This letter contains important information regarding your account numbers(s), direct deposit, automatic
payments and details of the upcoming transition. You may also obtain additional updates regarding the
conversion by visiting berkshirebank.com/welcome-boa.
Your Bank of America account(s) will transfer to the Berkshire Bank account(s) that most closely resembles
your original account(s). More importantly, your account numbers will change. If you prefer to select
alternative accounts, just let us know after Tuesday, January 21, and we can arrange that for you.
All of us at Berkshire Bank, as well as the associates you know from Bank of America who will join us, look
forward to making your life exciting. If you have any questions, contact us at 800.773.5601, visit
berkshirebank.com/ welcome-boa or after Tuesday, January 21, visit your local branch.
We’re delighted to be able to continue serving your local communities following the transition in January!
Michael P. Daly
President and Chief Executive Officer
Please note: the transition from select Bank of America banking centers to Berkshire Bank is pending and subject to customary closing conditions. You
are receiving this information based on account information as of November 2013.
Mr. WordCom Sample
56 Main Street
P.O. Box 308
Ellington, CT 06029-0308
January 6, 2014
An example of an
envelope used by
(assets: $6.3 billion),
ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED
ZIP CODE 06082
PERMIT NO. 8824 North Street ● P.O. Box 1308 ● Pittsfield, MA 01202
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