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Bank of America Plans Sale of 20 Branches to Berkshire Hills

July 24 (Bloomberg) -- Bank of America Corp. will sell 20 branches to Berkshire Hills Bancorp Inc., Berkshire said today in a statement. Terms weren’t disclosed.

The branches are in New York markets and have about $640 million in total deposits and $5 million in loans, according to the statement. Berkshire’s New York branch count will more than double to 37, the Pittsfield, Massachusetts-based lender said.

Separately, Community Bank System Inc. of Syracuse, New York, said it will buy eight Bank of America branches in northeastern Pennsylvania, paying a premium of about 2.39 percent for about $369 million in deposits.

Bank of America is ranked second by assets among U.S. lenders. The Charlotte, North Carolina-based firm has been trimming branches and selling operations for the past three years to simplify its structure and build its financial strength after repaying a federal bailout in late 2009.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rick Green in New York at rgreen18@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: David Scheer at dscheer@bloomberg.net; Christine Harper at charper@bloomberg.net

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