HomeStreet Bank announced plans Friday to purchase Yakima National Bank for about $10.3 million, part of an effort to expand its reach in Eastern and Central Washington.

In a phone interview Friday, CEO and president Mark K. Mason said the Seattle-based bank was drawn to Yakima National Bank’s strong commercial lending business.

“We have a growing commercial lending business and a large commercial real estate business,” Mason said. “... The acquisition of Yakima National Bank helps in the growth of our commercial lending businesses.”

With the acquisition of Yakima National Bank and Fortune Bank in Seattle, which was also announced Friday, HomeStreet’s assets would total about $3 billion. In comparision, Yakima National Bank assets total $125 million.

Yakima National Bank president and CEO Jeff Newgard will stay on and serve as HomeStreet Bank’s executive vice president and regional president for Central and Eastern Washington.

With his new role, Newgard will also be responsible for the bank’s growth in the region, which may include acquisitions of other community banks in the region.

And with the backing of HomeStreet’s larger asset base, Yakima National’s four branches will be able to take on bigger lending deals, Newgard said.

Currently, the most the Yakima National Bank branches can lend to customers is about $1.5 million. That limit would exceed $20 million under HomeStreet Bank, Newgard said.

“We’ll be able to do a lot more as far as larger projects, everything from construction to anything on real estate to commercial and industrial lending,” he said.

The deal is pending approval from shareholders of Yakima National Bank as well as regulators. The deal is expected to close by the fourth quarter of this year.

HomeStreet Bank has a number of consumer and commercial banking products that would be attractive to its current customers, Newgard said.

But aside from additional products and a new name, little will change for those customers, he said.

“The customers will get to work with the same familiar faces,” Newgard said.

Mason said HomeStreet bank hopes to retain all of Yakima National Bank’s 38 employees, though their jobs may change with the consolidation of back-office functions.

• Mai Hoang can be reached at 509-759-7851 or at maihoang@yakimaherald.com.