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PHILADELPHIA-Lancaster, PA-based Sterling Financial Corp. and Landmark Abstract, Inc. have formed a joint-venture, full-service settlement company to provide title and lien searches, commercial title insurance, and notary and recording services in Sterling’s market area. That encompasses Lancaster, Lebanon, York and Adams counties in Pennsylvania and Cecil and Carroll counties in Maryland.

Formation of the company is pending regulatory approval. Upon approval, the new company will be located in Lancaster County and is expected to be operational during the first half of 2003.

Sterling’s group of financial service organizations operates 51 banking locations in south central Pennsylvania and northern Maryland. The organization includes Bank of Lancaster County, Bank of Hanover and Trust Co., First National Bank of North East, and Bank of Lebanon County.

It has assets of more than $2.1 billion. In addition to its banking affiliates, Sterling’s other affiliates include Town and Country Leasing, Lancaster Insurance Group, Equipment Finance Inc., which is a specialty commercial finance company, and Sterling Financial Trust Co.

Landmark provides settlement services to the commercial and residential real estate and lending industry in Lancaster, York, Lebanon, Dauphin, Berks and Chester counties in Pennsylvania.

“This joint venture supports Sterling’s mission to offer diversified, high quality financial services and advances a philosophy that both companies share to focus on community partnerships,” says Sterling president and chief executive officer J. Roger Moyer, Jr. in a statement.

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