Business and Economics

Local Banking Changes Ahead

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Muncie-based First Merchants Bank and Citizens Financial Bank in Munster are merging.

The parent companies of both  announced Monday a deal that will see Citizens Financial Bank merge into First Merchants, creating the second-largest Indiana-headquartered bank.  First Merchants Chief Executive Officer Mike Rechin says the deal is a logical extension of the company’s existing business in the Hoosier State.

The shareholders of both banks must approve the merger, but if so, it could come by the end of this year.

Some banking industry analysts believe there may be more such mergers like the one planned by Citizens Financial.  A report in “USA Today” says small community banks are bowing under the weight of a raft of new regulations inspired largely by the misconduct of larger institutions.  The cost of compliance is expected to spur consolidation activity among them.


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