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Banking, most read

A number of M&A-related articles caught readers'attention this week, including a feature on Westfield Financial Inc.'s deal with Chicopee Bancorp Inc.

's partnershipwith a troubled lender in the Charleston and coastal South Carolina areas willsolidify the bank's presence in the region while providing enough accretion tonegate the impact of crossing $10 billion in assets.

While stress tests are not intendedto be economic forecasts, the disparity between the Fed's scenario and realityunderscores the difficulty of ensuring banks are prepared for the next crisis,Zach Fox wrote in The Regulator.

Westfield Financial Inc. executives said the acquisitionof Chicopee BancorpInc. would unite two complementary branch networks and elevatelending limits for the combined operation, giving it heft and new leeway topursue more commercial clients as Greater Springfield's economy recovers from adownturn.

Downingtown, Pa.-based DNBFinancial Corp. agreed to purchase Philadelphia-based EastRiver Bank in a stock-and-cash deal valued at $49.0 million.The acquisition is expected to close during the second half.

Teresa Curran of the San FranciscoFederal Reserve recognizes that small institutions face a significantregulatory burden and wants community banks to know that she is working tooffer them some relief.