"We have a number of subsidiaries that are part of our company,of which three of them were independent banks," Jaffe says. "We aremerging those three subsidiary banks into one." The three banks hada total of nine locations, in Countryside, IL; Hawthorn Woods, IL;Hillside, IL; Lake Zurich, IL; Lombard, IL; Morton Grove, IL; andVilla Park, IL. There were two locations in Glen Ellyn, IL, Jaffesays. "It allows us to better serve our customers," he says."Obviously, after the merger, our clients can do their banking atany of the nine locations that we have."

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Inland also plans to open additional Inland Bank and Trustlocations within the next six months. Inland is currently lookingat a location but cannot disclose it until an application has beenfiled with the regulatory commission, he says. The merger will alsoallow Inland to "gain some operating efficiencies," Jaffe says. "Itis much easier to market one name than three names and it puts usall on a single computer system; all of which is beneficial to ourclients," he says.

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The newly consolidated Inland Bank and Trust will offer servicesgeared to small and mid-sized businesses. The merger "lets us dealwith our borrowers on an easier and more consistent way," he says.Previously, "on large loans, each of our three banks wouldparticipate in the loan request together," Jaffe says. "Becausethey were independent banks, each bank would have to go throughtheir own underwriting and approval process which inherently isinefficient." Not only will the process be more efficient, butInland Bank and Trust will also be able to loan larger sums thanthe three had, he says.

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Michael Braun will be the group president and chief lendingofficer for Inland Bank and Trust. Michael Carlino will serve asthe group president and chief operating officer of the newlyconsolidated bank. Braun had previously served as president ofAmeriMark Bank, which main office was in Countryside, IL. Carlinohad previously served as president of Cambridge Bank, which had itsmain office in Lake Zurich, IL.

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