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Plans for Union Bank’s new headquarters in Grand Rapids Township. Plans for Union Bank’s new headquarters in Grand Rapids Township. RENDERING COURTESY OF GHAFARI ASSOCIATES INC.

Union Bank eyes ‘huge opportunity’ for GR-area market share with new HQ

BY Sunday, September 12, 2021 05:50pm

GRAND RAPIDS TWP. — Relocating its headquarters closer to Grand Rapids will give Union Bank a bigger presence in a market that’s been generating growth for a few years.

The Lake Odessa-based community bank broke ground last month on the new office at 670 Cascade West Parkway SE in Grand Rapids Township. Designed by Ghafari Associates Inc., the office is targeted to open next summer and will also house several commercial and mortgage lenders as well as a small boutique branch.

Moving the corporate office follows the community bank’s entry into the Grand Rapids-area market with the opening of a downtown Ada branch in November 2017 that has generated nearly $50 million in lending.

“It’s really a good growth market for us,” said President and CEO Cortney Collison. “We feel with it being one of the largest growth markets in the U.S. right now that it’s a huge opportunity for the bank to continue to remain independent, which is one of our key initiatives, and to build shareholder value.”

The privately held Union Bank looks to drive growth in the Grand Rapids-area market and better retain and attract talent by moving the corporate office.

Branching out

Traditionally an agricultural lender with borrowers from as far away as the Upper Peninsula and the east side of the state, Union Bank has been picking up new business in recent years by expanding into commercial lending for small businesses, Collison said.

“It’s been a real success for us and we found a real niche in the small business space. With the addition of the Ada office and the growth that we are seeing there, we just felt now was the perfect time to look at opportunities in West Michigan,” Collison said.

Union Bank in December hired veteran commercial banker Tim Doyle as executive vice president and chief lending officer. Doyle has worked in the Grand Rapids-area market for more than 30 years, including at Macatawa Bank and Fifth Third Bank for nearly 20 years.

As well, the bank has driven growth through an online “virtual branch” that has allowed it to extend beyond the region, Collison said.

Union Bank has six branches in the region in Barry, Clinton, Eaton, Ionia and Kent counties, and wants to open another office in West Michigan by 2023 to serve the Grand Rapids-area market, Collison said.

The bank may further expand its Grand Rapids-area branch footprint in the years ahead, he said.

“I’d say anything’s on the table,” Collison said. “As we’re growing, we’re going to need additional retail and business locations.”

Union Bank at the end of the second quarter had $308.9 million in total assets, total deposits of $282.2 million, and $186.1 million in net loans, according to a quarterly financial report to the FDIC. The bank’s total deposits grew 36 percent from the second quarter of 2020 to the second quarter of 2021, and total assets grew 28 percent.

The bank has a goal to exceed $500 million in assets by the end of 2023.

Union Bank recorded $752,000 in net income through the first half of 2021, and $1.7 million for all of 2020, according to the FDIC filing.

The bank’s parent company, Union Financial Corp., last year raised $6.2 million in capital through a private stock placement.

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