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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Shareholders Give Approval To Merger

Compiled From Wire Services

Shareholders of U.S. Bancorp and Minneapolis-based First Bank System Inc. have approved a $9.9 billion merger that will transfer control to Minnesota.

The merger won approval Thursday from owners of 78 percent of the shares of U.S. Bancorp and 85 percent of the shares of First Bank, which will change its name to U.S. Bancorp.

“This is a historic merger that will create a truly pre-eminent banking institution,” U.S. Bancorp Chairman Gerry Cameron said. He will remain chairman of the old company but surrender the title of chief executive officer to John Grundhofer, First Bank’s chairman.

But some employees and customers have bemoaned the loss of a large, civic-minded employer.

“I wish it could stay in Oregon. And it’s tough to cut jobs,” said Bob Hazen, retired chairman of former Benj. Franklin Savings and Loan Association. “But it’ll be a strong bank.”

The combined company will be the nation’s 14th largest bank, with $71.7 billion in assets.

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