Boston Private Financial Holdings sells three branches in Washington state

Boston Private Financial Holdings Inc. in Boston said Monday it is selling its branches in Washington state to Sterling Financial Corp. of Spokane, Wash, the parent of Sterling Savings Bank.

The deal marks the second time in several years Boston Private, the parent of Boston Private Bank & Trust Co., has pulled out of one of its major markets. Boston Private sold its troubled Florida unit, Gibraltar Private Bank & Trust, in 2009.

The sale, expected to close in the first half of next year, involves three locations in Seattle, Bellevue, and Redmond, Wash, which has a combined $190 million in deposits and $270 million in gross loans. The sale price is expected to be announced later.

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Boston Private Holdings chief executive Clayton G. Deutsch said the deal will allow it to focus its private banking operations in New England, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Southern California—where it is adding or expanding offices.

“This lets us concentrate our resources,” Deutsch said. He said the company had too small a position in the Pacific Northwest and was not earning a profit there.

Boston Private Holdings is a holding company with private banking, investment management and wealth advisory operations.