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Published in Finance

Mercantile Bank selling Hastings office amid shift to fewer branches

BY Monday, October 26, 2020 10:28am

HASTINGS — Mercantile Bank Corp. plans to sell a Hastings branch office to Lake Trust Credit Union as part of an ongoing initiative to shrink its office footprint.

The deal with the Brighton-based Lake Trust Credit Union should close in early 2021 and include the 4,300-square-foot office on State Highway 43 and about $16 million in deposits. Lake Trust will move an existing Hastings branch on North Church Road after remodeling the former Mercantile office.

Mercantile Executive Vice President Raymond Reitsma COURTESY PHOTO

Grand Rapids-based Mercantile Bank presently has 39 offices across the Lower Peninsula. The bank has been working to reduce its branch network to 37 by the end of the year from a one-time peak of 53, as consumers increasingly use online and mobile banking.

“Our customers are using alternative banking options more and relying less on physical branch locations for their banking and lending needs, thanks to our high-touch service model and robust online, mobile and card banking platforms,” said Mercantile Executive Vice President Raymond Reitsma. “As we reviewed our existing branch network and our presence in the Hastings market, we felt it was in the best interest of our Hastings branch customers that we find a partner that was established in the Hastings community and aligned with our mission and values.”

In a conference call last week to discuss third quarter results, Mercantile President and CEO Robert Kaminski Jr. said the COVID-19 pandemic had accelerated the adoption of digital banking and that “an evolution in the way banking is done appears to be at hand.”

Lake Trust Credit Union has 23 offices, mostly in Southeast Michigan and the Lansing area. The credit union’s West Michigan branches are in Hastings, Holland and Grand Haven.

“Lake Trust has a long history of serving the Hastings community. As we consistently work to enhance our member experience, the purchase of Mercantile Bank’s Hastings branch will offer expanded convenience and accessibility for Lake Trust members in the area.” Lake Trust CEO David Snodgrass said.

The credit union as of Sept. 30 has 176,109 members with $2.16 billion in total assets and total deposits of $1.91 billion, according to a quarterly financial report to the National Credit Union Administration. Lake Trust at the end of the third quarter also had $1.60 billion in total loans, including $250.8 million in total commercial loans.

Lake Trust recorded nine-month net income of $7.0 million, according to the NCUA report.

ProBank Austin is financial advisor and Dickinson Wright PLLC is legal counsel to Mercantile Bank in the transaction. Honigman LLP is serving as legal counsel to Lake Trust.

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