MINERVA – Over the last four years, Minerva-based Consumers National Bank has demonstrated significant growth in several key measures.
The public company has expanded its market territory through acquisitions and organic expansion, increased the number of branch offices, added sales professionals, more than doubled its asset size, and produced record earnings.
Consumers Bank management set a goal in 2018 to double the bank’s assets from $500 million to $1 billion by June 2023.
“We set that goal before COVID-19 began to play havoc with our customers and our business model. However our staff persevered as they executed strategic initiatives. Even with the pandemic, we reached our goal early, reporting $1.013 billion in assets at Dec. 31, 2022,” says Ralph J. Lober II, president and CEO.
In December 2019, Consumers National Bank completed the acquisition of The Peoples National Bank of Mount Pleasant, a $75 million asset community bank with three locations in southern Jefferson County. The transaction closed and the systems were converted just prior to the pandemic shutdown.
“Onsite training of our new bankers as well as our community outreach and sales efforts were stopped before they gained traction. Overcoming the initial adversity, total deposits in the Adena, Dillonvale and Mount Pleasant branches have increased $16.6 million, or 27.3%, since the acquisition,” says Lober.
Consumers Bank also expanded its presence in the southern portion of Columbiana County by acquiring the Calcutta and Wellsville branch offices of another bank. The July 2021 acquisition added $100 million in deposits and over $35 million in earning assets.
“While we had existing business relationships in that region prior to the acquisition, these two branches allowed us to better serve the southern portion of the county. We now offer additional alternatives for consumer lending and have in-market business bankers and mortgage lenders. We look forward to growing our presence in the region as an engaged community partner,” Lober says.
Since 2018, Consumers National Bank also expanded with new full-service offices in Fairlawn (Summit County), Brewster (Stark County) and Green (Summit County), opened a loan center in Boardman, and replaced its Salem branch with a new state-of-the-art facility.
Adding a total of eight branch offices and a loan center since 2018 brings the total to 22 locations across six Ohio counties. Over this period, the bank’s business development territory has grown to 20 counties in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Consumers Bank has also grown as a regional employer. Since 2018, the bank has added 58 employees to keep pace with its asset growth.
“While we added branch-based bankers as well as management, lending, sales and operations staff through the acquisitions, we also added branch staff in new markets, increased staffing in our operations departments to keep pace with asset growth, added management positions, and recruited six additional bankers into business development positions,” Lober says. “Employees foster relationships and provide our customers direct access to bankers that have the capacity to address their financial needs. In the end, banking is still a people business.”
Consumers National Bank’s earnings have increased from $3.6 million in fiscal 2018 to $11.2 million in fiscal 2022, a 32.9% compounded annual growth rate.
“The earnings growth speaks to the success of the strategic initiatives our staff implemented since we set our $1 billion asset goal in 2018. But that is only part of the story,” says Lober.
“We now provide a local banking alternative to more communities, provide capital to more small businesses and farms, finance housing and automobiles for more families, and support more community organizations. We are now providing financial solutions to 21,000 more customers than we were in 2018. That is growth that makes a difference.”