Home Savings Changing Its Name to Premier Bank

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Home Savings Bank and First Federal Bank will begin operating as Premier Bank in July, ending the iconic Home Savings brand that dates to 1889 when it was founded as a savings and loan by James M. McKay with offices at 129 W. Federal St.

The letters on the 12-story Home Savings building at 275 W. Federal, built in 1919, will be gone by mid-July. The 77 branches of the new Premier Bank will being adopting the new branding in June, the combined bank announced today.

Additional details of the bank’s new branding will be developed and announced in the coming months, executives said.

“Whether our customers walk into a First Federal Bank branch or a Home Savings Bank branch today, they know they can count on us to provide them with the banking products and services they need and greet them with familiar, friendly faces who have their best interest at heart,” said Gary M. Small, president of First Federal Bank and Home Savings Bank, in a statement.

The two banks announced their merger, a $473 million stock-only transaction, in September. The deal was completed in early February. First Federal Bank is operated by First Defiance Financial Corp. in Defiance. 

Donald P. Hileman, CEO of the combined bank, said the Premier Bank name “achieved our goal of selecting a name that represents and honors the commitment both banks have made to our customers and communities by providing the best in financial partnerships for over a century.”  

The combined bank has assets of $6.1 billion, $5 billion in loans and $4.9 billion in deposits. 

Hileman will serve as CEO of the new holding company before taking over as executive chairman in 2021. Small will take over as CEO when Hileman becomes chairman.

The former Home Savings and Loan Co. acquired Ohio Legacy Corp., parent of North-Canton based Premier Bank & Trust, in January 2017. At the same time, it converted the Home Savings charter, changing the name from Home Savings and Loan of Youngstown to Home Savings Bank.

The last member of the McKay family to operate Home Savings & Loan, Douglas M. McKay — the fourth generation of the founder’s family — retired at the end of 2010.

Over the decades, Home Savings grew with the community and weathered such storms as the Panic of 1893 and the Great Depression, noted Bill Lawson, executive director of the Mahoning Valley Historical Society.

“It’s giving up two old brands to create a new one,” he reflected. The company developed over 131 years, acquiring other banks during that time, but has been strongly identified with Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley.

“The Home Savings building downtown was built in 1919 and the clock tower on that building became iconic for the company, and of course it’s still part of the brand logo to this day,” Lawson noted.

Most people are sentimental about many things, but sentimentality is “a touchy thing” locally, he said, because other longstanding area companies got involved with mergers and “bad things happened” and were no more. 

Copyright 2020 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.