Premier Strengthens Its Commitment to Valley

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Premier Bank appointed a new Mahoning Valley market president in 2021 as Josh Toot replaced veteran banker Frank Hierro, who retired.

“Our commercial team had an outstanding year, posting double-digit loan and deposit growth in addition to the $37 million in PPP loans that we provided our clients,” Toot says. “Our indirect lending group financed a record number of vehicle loans through local dealerships. And our private banking group is providing personalized service to many new clients.”

Premier Bank’s commitment to the Mahoning Valley extends beyond banking solutions, according to Toot.

“In addition to our team members’ commitment to our communities, the bank awarded more than $1.6 million in community support through sponsorships and foundation support, much of it here in the Mahoning Valley,” he says.

Last spring, the bank announced it would take significant steps to reduce its impact on climate change. It converted to renewable electricity and carbon-neutral natural gas to power most of its locations, says spokeswoman Diana Timkovich.

Fall brought the completion of the newly renovated Kirk Road office in Austintown. In November, Premier Bank kicked off its second annual “Powered By (kind) People. Fueled By You.” campaign and video series, which honors community organizations. And in December, the bank hosted the Youngstown Financial Wellness Fair. The free event helped residents improve their knowledge of financial management.

Premier Financial Corp., holding company for Premier Bank, reported 2021 net income of  $126.1 million, up from $63.1 million for 2020 – or $99.3 million excluding merger-related expenses.

Excluding Paycheck Protection Program loans, Premier saw loan growth of $133 million in 2021, including $106 million for commercial loans or an increase of 3.1%.

“Strong loan growth continues to be the theme as we close out a successful 2021,” says Gary Small, president and CEO.

“PPP adjusted growth for the fourth quarter totaled 8.7% on an annualized basis. And similar to the third quarter, each loan category grew with commercial lending leading the way at 10.3%. Premier’s core loan growth for the second half of 2021 totaled 7.0% on an annualized basis,” he says.