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Webster Financial (WBS) Snaps Up Bend Financial for HSA Bank

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Webster Financial Corporation (WBS - Free Report) has inked a definitive agreement to acquire Bend Financial, Inc., a cloud-based health savings accounts (HSA) solution provider.

The buyout will help HSA Bank, a division of Webster Bank, to leverage Bend Financial's client-facing experience that utilizes cloud-native technology and user-centered design. This will offer a modern and simplified approach to HSA management and engagement.

Specifically, Bend Financial’s technology offers comprehensive guidance to aid consumers in understanding and optimizing their HSAs, and the choices that impact financial goals in the short and long run. Hence, the buyout will further advance HSA Bank’s efforts to deliver differentiated services to customers through Bend Financial’s easy approach and enhance HSA Bank's client experience through strategic technology investments.

Under the agreement, Bend Financial will continue its operations as it is. Gradually, Bend Financial's personalized and connected user experience will be introduced to HSA Bank’s consumers.

"Bend complements HSA Bank's ability to drive even better outcomes and value for the millions of consumers we serve. This accelerates efforts underway to deliver enhanced user experiences," noted Chad Wilkins, the president of HSA Bank.

The transaction is anticipated to close in first-quarter 2022.

Markedly, Webster Financial has been making inorganic growth moves off late. Earlier this month, WBS completed its merger withSterling Bancorp. The new headquarter is in Stamford, CT. This has led to the creation of one of the largest banks in the Northeast. The combined company is expected to be of a larger scale, have loan growth potential, and provide best-in-class deposit franchise.

The combined company has approximately $65 billion in assets, $44 billion in loans, and $53 billion in deposits based on balances as of Dec 31, 2021. It operates 202 financial centers in the Northeast region.

WBS’ inorganic growth moves are supported by a strong balance sheet. Further, efforts to drive incremental revenues and cost savings will also support financials in the long term.

Over the past six months, shares of Webster Financial have rallied 26.9% compared with 20.4% growth of the industry.

 

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Image Source: Zacks Investment Research

 

WBS currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Inorganic Growth Efforts by Other Firms

Several companies from the finance sector are undertaking buyout efforts to improve competencies in a bid to counter the low-interest-rate environment.

In early February, Truist Financial Corporation’s (TFC - Free Report) subsidiary, Truist Insurance Holdings, Inc., has inked an agreement to acquire Kensington Vanguard National Land Services. 

Over the years, Truist Financial has been strengthening its real estate services through strategic acquisitions. The transaction is expected to aid Truist Insurance in expanding its business in title insurance. The existing title operation of Trist Insurance is BridgeTrust Title, which will likely be integrated with Kensington Vanguard.

Walker & Dunlop, Inc. (WD - Free Report) has inked a deal to acquire GeoPhy, a commercial real estate technology company.  Per the terms of the transaction, Walker & Dunlop will pay $85 million in cash at the closing in addition to $205 million of cash earn-out potential. The cash earn-out potential is structured to directly align with the company’s Drive to ’25 goals.

The acquisition of GeoPhy, is expected to bolster growth in Walker & Dunlop's brokerage, lending and emerging businesses, including Apprise (the tech-enabled appraisal business) and small balance-lending platform. 

Moody’s Corporation (MCO - Free Report) plans to further expand in Africa and has agreed to acquire a 51% stake in Global Credit Rating Company Limited. The transaction, still subject to customary regulatory approvals, is expected to close in second-quarter 2022.

Combining Global Credit Rating’s solid footprint in the continent with Moody’s global reach will bolster the latter’s presence in the high-growth markets.