Ohio-based First Financial Bank (Nasdaq: FFBC) is making a multi-million dollar investment in Indianapolis that involves three major projects. They include a downtown regional hub and an electronic service center in Indianapolis as well as a prototype in Hendricks County. First Financial's Indiana Banking President Kevin Langford says the projects reflect a shift in how consumers do their banking. First Financial plans to hire a handful of executives as part of its growth. July 7, 2014

News Release

Indianapolis, Ind. — First Financial Bank continues to grow in Indianapolis and announces three major investments in the community. These investments include a new downtown regional hub and banking center, an innovative electronic service center, and the bank’s first prototype banking center in Avon.

“We’re proud to strengthen our commitment to and presence in Indianapolis,” said Kevin Langford, First Financial’s Indiana banking president. “This market is very important to us, and we continue to make strategic investments to not only grow our brand of banking, but more importantly, enhance the client experience.”

Indiana regional hub

First Financial has selected 300 North Meridian in downtown Indianapolis as the site of its regional hub. The building, located in the central business district, will feature a banking center on the first floor as well as additional office space on the 14th floor for key executives and the bank’s commercial and wealth teams. First Financial’s Indiana banking president and Indianapolis market president will be located at this building. The bank plans to have street level and blade signage on the building.

Associates will move and the banking center will open in late summer.

Electronic service center

First Financial plans to introduce its first electronic service center at 1 North Pennsylvania Street in downtown Indianapolis. This innovative center is designed to meet the needs of consumers who prefer quick and convenient access to their accounts. Downtown residents, professionals and visitors will be able to easily walk to this location to take advantage of its unique electronic platform and expanded banking access.

“It’s very exciting that Indianapolis will serve as a test market for this unique platform,” said Langford. “If successful, we plan to introduce additional electronic service centers both locally and across the bank’s footprint.”

Prototype banking center in Avon

First Financial is proud to announce the site of its first prototype banking center in Indianapolis. Located in the community of Avon, the standalone banking center will be located on Rockville Road and is expected to be completed during the fourth quarter of 2014.

Details and features of the prototype banking center include:

– The first in Indianapolis that will be built using First Financial’s award-winning prototype design.

– Open and accessible interior will include visual merchandising as well as engaging retail graphics to “take the client on a journey” that will remind them of defining moments of success in their lives.

– Clients will find a full complement of retail, commercial lending, and wealth management services as well as teller and ATM drive-thru service at the new facility.

– The new building will also incorporate several elements that reflect the company’s commitment to sustainability, including energy-efficient building materials, lighting controls, solar powered efficiencies and others.

– “We’re committed to investing in the area to continue building strong, long-term relationships with our clients, local businesses and the community,” said Langford. “From establishing our long-term regional hub in downtown Indianapolis to building new energy-efficient and innovative banking centers, what we’re doing here is a key part of our overall strategy to enhance the high-quality service, customized banking solutions and expert financial advice that our clients expect and deserve from their banking partner.”

Clients’ changing banking habits

First Financial reviewed its network of banking centers throughout Indianapolis and determined it will consolidate banking services at three banking centers and transfer accounts to nearby locations:

– E. 71st Street into Harrison Crossings

– W. 71st Street into North College Avenue

– Emerson Avenue into Madison Avenue

“As we see a shift in banking habits and preferences, we continually invest in new technology and redefine our delivery channels to meet our clients’ changing needs,” said Langford. “With traffic down at some of our banking centers, this is an opportunity to bring teams and clients together at nearby locations to improve efficiencies and build stronger client relationships.”

Clients were mailed letters in June notifying them of the consolidations. Services will be transferred to nearby locations on September 29, 2014.

About First Financial Bancorp

First Financial Bancorp is a Cincinnati, Ohio based bank holding company. As of March 31, 2014, the Company had $6.5 billion in assets, $4.0 billion in loans, $4.8 billion in deposits and $691 million in shareholders’ equity. The Company’s subsidiary, First Financial Bank, N.A., founded in 1863, provides banking and financial services products through its four lines of business: commercial, consumer, wealth management and mortgage. The commercial, consumer and mortgage units provide traditional banking services to business and retail clients. First Financial Wealth Management provides wealth planning, portfolio management, trust and estate, brokerage and retirement plan services and had approximately $2.5 billion in assets under management as of March 31, 2014. The Company’s strategic operating markets are located in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky where it operates 106 banking centers. Additional information about the Company, including its products, services and banking locations is available at www.bankatfirst.com

Source: First Financial Bank

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