Farmers Celebrates Record Year, Merger

CANFIELD, Ohio – The year 2021 proved to be another excellent and productive year for Farmers National Bank, highlighted by the bank being named the top-performing community bank in Ohio, its acquisition of a peer financial institution, and another year of solid growth in terms of revenues and expansion of its geographic footprint. 

 In fact, for the sixth consecutive year, Farmers achieved record financial results, reports its president and CEO, Kevin J. Helmick.

This success is significantly attributable, he says, to the continued growth of the bank’s fee-based businesses, income from the Paycheck Protection Program and the acquisition of Cortland Bancorp.

 Annual net income for 2021 set a record of $51.8 million, which is approximately a 27% increase over 2020. Farmers experienced continued growth in 2021 with the addition of Cortland. Total loans were $2.3 billion at Dec. 31, compared to $2.08 billion at Dec. 31, 2020, a 10.6% increase. Total deposits increased 34% over the prior year.

“Our stakeholders – shareholders, customers, associates and the communities we serve – are experiencing the benefits of our long-term strategic vision of building a new model of community banking for the 21st Century,” says Helmick.

“At Farmers, the importance of personal relationships and innovative banking technologies are equally valued, and our traditional fiscal conservatism is complemented by diligently researched, sensible acquisitions,” he says.

What Helmick describes as Farmers’ new breed of community banking model received third-party validation in 2021, as Bank Director Magazine – a highly respected industry publication – named Farmers the top-performing community bank in Ohio and the 17th top-performer in the nation.

Bank Director rated the country’s banks on a broad range of performance measures, with particular focus on profitability, capital adequacy and asset quality.

 The merging of Cortland Bancorp – the bank’s sixth and largest acquisition over the last six years  –strengthens Farmers presence in its existing markets, and provides competitive entrance into Summit and Portage counties, Helmick says.

The Cortland acquisition increases Farmers’ bank assets to over $4.1 billion and its wealth assets to over $3.1 billion. Farmers now has 48 locations throughout Ohio and western Pennsylvania.

 In accordance with its commitment to providing innovative and useful banking technologies to its customers, Farmers will open its second Lab Branch concept this spring in Canton.

“The success of our first Lab Branch concept, which opened in Canfield in late 2020, paved the way for this second branch and demonstrated our customers’ willingness to embrace new ways of banking,” says Amber Wallace, executive vice president, chief retail/marketing officer.

 The new Lab Branch will house all of the bank’s emerging technology and customer service initiatives, including interactive teller machines (ITM) in the lobby and drive-thru.

 ITMs provide customers the ability to talk with a specialized video teller (housed locally in Niles.) in real time to do banking transactions or use the machine as a typical ATM. Video tellers can assist customers with deposits, withdrawals, transfers and payments.

In 2022, Farmers will also open a stand-alone ITM near the intersection of U.S. Route 224 and Market Street in Boardman.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.