Customers Bank adds Boston, plans takeovers

Customers Bank, the $4 billion-asset, Wyomissing-based lender assembled by former Sovereign Bank chief executive Jay S. Sidhu, says it has bought its way into the New England business-lending market by buying $151 million in local business loans (and a total of $190 million in loan committments), at a 1.3% discount to the portfolio's total valuel, from Michigan-based Flagstar Bank.

In a statement, Sidhu said the deal includes Sovereign Bank veteran Steve Issa and other Flagstar lenders and called them "the best part of this transaction.""We plan to be very aggressive and competitive in serving the privately held businesses" in the Boston and Providence metro areas, Sidhu added.

He said Customers has two bank acquisitions pending that it plans to close in the first half of 2013.