Founded in 1897, the Farmers & Merchants State Bank has always called Archbold home. However, its footprint has grown considerably in the 125 years since then to encompass 30 full service office locations in the tri-state area, plus three loan production offices with some 387 employees.
Today, F & M serves nearly 75,000 customers and has $2.6 billion in assets with a goal of reaching $3 billion. Amy Cover, the bank’s vice-president of marketing manager, noted that it took the bank 120 years to reach $1 billion in assets in 2017, but only 5 years to add $1.6 billion — in part through acquisitions of other banks and their customers.
Amy explained that the bank has been driven by a growth-oriented three-year strategic plan that focuses on its customers and employees as well as its shareholders.
The bank strives to attract, develop and retain the best employees possible as well as retain its customers throughout the tri-state area.
Agriculture has always been an important loan focus for F & M, she said. Today, it is one of the top 100 ag-related lenders in the United States.
For its nearly 2,000 shareholders, F & M has performed very well. Among public banks, F & M has the #1 share performance over the last six months.
Share prices are up 69 percent vs. a 9% decline in the NASDAQ Bank Index. She added that in just the last week, the F & M share price is up 18 percent vs. 2 percent for the index.
F & M’s annual dividend has increased for 27 consecutive years — a mark that only 11 of 800 publicly traded banks in the country can top.
But, Amy said F & M’s commitment isn’t only to its customers, employees and shareholders. The bank is committed to helping the communities that it serves.
Last year, it gave some $435,000 to support community projects or organizations. And, this year it will give all of its employees $125 that they are expected to give to charities or community projects of their choice. In all, about $50,000.
Additionally, employees are allowed to spend 8 hours of company time helping an organization, program or project in their community.
Throughout 2022, F & M banks will be offering various promotions. To learn more about those promotions, visit www.fm.bank/celebrating125.
Pictured are the presenter, Amy Cover (right), vice-president of marketing manager at F & M State Bank, and Rotarian Barb Britenriker, who is also the bank’s chief financial officer and executive vice-president.