Farmers National Bank merger could translate into more customer services – WFMJ

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Customers of Cortland Bank could soon have access to more financial planning and investment options out of Farmer’s National Bank merger.

6 hrs 27 mins ago

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Farmers National Bank announced it plans to acquire Cortland Bank for $124 million in a deal that should be official before the end of the year.

Cortland Bank customers will still see these signs heading into 2022. Farmers National Bank is expecting the deal to go through sometime in the fourth quarter of 2021.

The message behind the merger is that they’ll be stronger together.

“You know there are risks in banking and all industries, so I think we need to continue to add resources to manage risk,” Kevin Helmick said, president and CEO of Farmers National Bank.

Once the merger with Cortland Bank goes through, Farmer’s National will have $4.1 billion in assets.

The merger would give Farmers National Bank 48 total locations across Northeast Ohio and Pennsylvania, including locations in the suburbs of Cleveland where Cortland Bank already set up branches where the bank wants to expand its footprint.

“Technology and what the customer sees, the consumer sees, is one part of it. But there’s a whole support and there’s a whole way we secure that data and how we have to manage risk behind the scenes,” Helmick said.

Helmick says Cortland Bank has done a nice job of expanding into communities in Summit and Portage counties.

“We’re really excited about taking the Farmers Wealth Management products and our services and distribution network to those markets as well,” Helmick said.

The customer experience at Cortland Banks are expected to be minimal while the merger deal is ironed out.

Farmers National tells 21 News it plans to keep the same local branch employees in place, while also adding more loan and investment options, along with a stronger digital platform that’s been updated recently for iPhone and iPad users.

The merger would allow the bank to offer loans to single borrowers at a higher credit line. Helmick says they’d like to offer Cortland Bank customers access to new services from trusts, retirement planning, IRAs to car loans.

Uniting the two is a common trend in the local banking industry, following National City’s merger with PNC and Home Savings, which is now Premier Bank.

A local finance expert says local banks are merging in order to remain competitive with larger banks and online banking options.

Upon the merger, Cortland Bank shareholders can receive either $28 a share in cash or 1.75 shares of Farmers’ common stock.

Farmers National Bank has plans to grow beyond the valley by opening up another lab branch in North Canton near Duluth Trading Company off of I-77.