Here are more answers to questions about the proposed $3.4 billion acquisition of Akron-based FirstMerit Corp. by Columbus-based Huntington Bancshares. Answers are based on information provided by Huntington officials and Beacon Journal research. For questions and answers already published or previous stories about the merger, go to www.ohio.com/betty.
Q: I just bought new checks for my FirstMerit account. Will Huntington pay me to replace my checks or give me replacement checks for free?
A: Huntington officials have said accounts, upon transition after the close of the proposed deal, will need to be updated with new checks and automatic deposits and that more information would come then. In response to this question, Huntington spokesman Brent Wilder said: “We will share with customers closer to conversion what starter Huntington check resources will be available.”
Q: The two FirstMerit branches I go to are easy-in, easy-out locations. I know that some Huntington branches are inside stores. I’m not fond of the idea of having to go into a busy grocery store parking lot and inside for everything. After the merger, am I going to have to go into a store every time I want to go to the bank? I will drop them if that is the case.
A: Huntington officials have said it’s too early to say which branches will close, but there will be consolidations of both FirstMerit and Huntington branches — though not until at least 2017. Huntington operates stand-alone branches and has the exclusive rights to Giant Eagle in-store branches in Ohio. There are 22 Giant Eagle locations in the five-county Akron-Canton region and 93 total branches in the state. For a list of Huntington branches, go to www.huntington.com/branchlocator.
Q: Is the FirstMerit employee pension plan safe?
A: The transaction does not affect the pension plan.
Q: Will we get a higher interest rate on savings?
A: Interest rates depend on the Fed rate at the time of closing for the proposed deal.
Betty Lin-Fisher can be reached at 330-996-3724 or firstname.lastname@example.org.