Farmers Caps 2019 with Unprecedented Growth

CANFIELD, Ohio — From a recently completed acquisition that expands Farmers National Bank’s footprint to record financial results, 2019 was an exceptional year.  

Farmers closed out 2019 having completed its fourth bank acquisition since 2015 by taking its community banking model to the Geauga market and further expanding the bank’s profile in Cuyahoga County. 

“With this move, Geauga Savings Bank customers now have a diverse, strong and growing community bank partner while Farmers can continue to build local scale and efficiencies throughout northeast Ohio,” says Kevin J. Helmick, president and CEO. 

For the fourth consecutive year, Farmers achieved record financial results as it continues to pursue initiatives that diversify its sources of income, conservatively manage risk, increase its market share and actively manage expenses.  

For the year ended Dec. 31, noninterest income was $28.6 million, compared to $25.5 million for the previous year. The 12% increase in noninterest income resulted from increased fee income. 

Last year’s results also included the bank’s asset quality remaining excellent with the nonperforming assets to total assets ratio coming in at 0.26%, compared to 0.33% in 2018. “We’re committed to risk management and were pleased to see the nonperforming assets to total assets ratio was the best level we have achieved in the last decade,” Helmick says. 

The last year was also a year of strategic focus on increasing deposits with total deposits growing 11.6% more than 2018, and core deposits also rose 11.6%. The loan-to-deposit ratio was 90.17% at Dec. 31, compared to 96.45% at the end of 2018. 

During the year, many comparable financial institutions were affected by higher deposit costs and lower interest rates, which affected net interest margins. Farmers was pleased with its stability in net interest margin and a performance significantly better than many of its peers, Helmick says.

Lending remained a cornerstone of the bank’s success, with Farmers showing strong loan production along with outstanding credit quality, he continues.

Robust production in residential mortgages led to growth in that portfolio, as well as a 60% increase in sales income over 2018.

And the bank’s small-business express program, which offers expedited decisions on loans of $400,000 or less, increased balances by 21% over 2018. 

“Looking back on financial and operating results, it is a testament to our focus on supporting our communities with strong financial products and services and the hard work and dedication of our 483 team members that makes it all possible,” Helmick says.     

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