May 29, 2020
Like many consumers, I like to do business with the companies I may own in my portfolio, but I sometimes I might want to buy stock in a company I do business with. Banking is an area we seldom consider when thinking about this sort of stock ownership, but why not? I have a bank account at a local bank, which was recently acquired by Northwest Bancshares, Inc. (Tii:NWBI), so I’ve started to look at the stock as I’ve continued to do my banking business at their newly rebranded branches.
Banking is an industry that has both giant money center banks like J.P. Morgan Chase (Tii:JPM) and Citi (Tii:C), but also thousands of local community banks around the country. Many of these banks may have operations that are embedded in our local communities, so we feel a closeness and a stronger relationship with them. Within the Midwest, there are a number of solid community banks that offer valuable banking services to small businesses and consumers which might be worth a look.
1st Source Corporation (Tii:SRCE) traces its roots back to 1863, with the initial chartering of the First National Bank of South Bend. 1st Source serves the northern half of Indiana and southwest Michigan and is the largest locally controlled financial institution headquartered in the area. While delivering a comprehensive range of consumer and commercial banking services through its community bank offices, 1st Source has distinguished itself with highly personalized services.
Horizon Bancorp, Inc. (Tii:HBNC) is an independent, commercial bank holding company serving northern and central Indiana and southern, central and the Great Lakes Bay regions of Michigan through its commercial banking subsidiary Horizon Bank. The bank’s focus is to anticipate and fulfill customer needs with exceptional serve and sensible advice, a philosophy that has kept the company growing since its founding in 1873.
Mercantile Bank of Michigan (Tii:MBWM) is the bank holding company for Mercantile Bank of Michigan, based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Mercantile provides banking services to businesses, individuals and governmental units, and differentiates itself on the basis of service quality and the expertise of its banking staff. Mercantile has assets of approximately $3.6 billion and operates 40 banking offices.
SB Financial Group Inc. (Tii:SBFG) is a diversified financial services holding company for the State Bank & Trust Company (State Bank) and SBFG Title, LLC dba Peak Title (Peak Title). State Bank provides a full range of financial services for consumers and small businesses, including wealth management, private client services, mortgage banking and commercial and agricultural lending, operating through a total of 20 offices; 19 in nine Ohio counties and one in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Investing in community banks can offer a great deal of history along with the satisfaction of knowing that they are key contributors to the health and long-term growth of communities around the nation.