Indiana Bank Near Top of 'America's Best Banks'

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Mike Rechin has serves as CEO of First Merchants since 2007. Mike Rechin has serves as CEO of First Merchants since 2007.

Two banks headquartered in Indiana are part of a list of the country's top banks. America's Best Banks 2018 from Forbes ranks the 100 largest U.S. banks based on 10 metrics that the publication says relate to growth, profitability, capital adequacy and asset quality. Muncie-based First Merchants Corp. (Nasdaq: FRME) is fourth on the list and Evansville's Old National Bancorp. (Nasdaq: ONB) is 76th. First Financial Bancorp. (Nasdaq: FFBC), the Cincinnati-based bank in the late-stages of a $1 billion acquisition of Greensburg's MainSource Financial Group Inc. (Nasdaq: MSFG), ranks 37th.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, First Merchants Chief Executive Officer Michael Rechin said he's flattered, "but not necessarily surprised" by the high ranking. "We take great pride in setting high-performance targets and then working very hard to achieve them," he said. "We've watched over the last couple of years the whole area gain some economic strength and it's our job to play into that and perpetuate it." He adds that Forbes uses a "nice combination" of measures from capital and balance sheets to results from income statements.

First Merchants currently employs some 1,700 and has over 120 banking centers throughout Indiana, Illinois and Ohio. The rankings use financial data collected through the first three quarters of 2017. First Merchants says it currently has approximately $9 billion in assets.

The factors considered by Forbes include:

  • return on average tangible equity
  • return on average assets
  • net interest margin
  • efficiency ratio
  • net charge-offs as a percent of total loans
  • nonperforming assets as a percent of assets
  • risk-based capital ratio
  • reserves as a percent of nonperforming assets

The Arkansas-based holding company for Centennial Bank, Home BancShares, was number one this year, followed by Phoenix-based Western Alliance Bancorporation (NYSE: WAL) and Arkansas-based Bank Of The Ozarks Inc. (Nasdaq: OZRK).

You can connect to the full list by clicking here.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, First Merchants Chief Executive Officer Michael Rechin said he's flattered, "but not necessarily surprised" by the high ranking.
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