Rurban Financial Corp. (NASDAQ: RBNF) (“Rurban” or the “Company”), parent of The State Bank and Trust Company (“State Bank”), a $629 million community bank headquartered in Defiance, Ohio, announced today that it plans to close its West Unity banking office and begin servicing those customers from its three neighboring offices in Williams County, located in Bryan, Montpelier and Pioneer, Ohio. The closure of its West Unity office will be effective on February 1, 2013, reducing the number of State Bank offices to 18 throughout Northwest Ohio and Northeast Indiana, in addition to three loan production offices — two in Columbus, Ohio and one in Angola, Indiana.
State Bank entered the Williams County market in December of 2008 with the purchase of the National Bank of Montpelier. As of June 2012, State Bank was the fourth-ranked bank in Williams County, based on a deposit market share of 15 percent. State Bank employs 15 people in Williams County, and a total of 191 throughout the organization.
“State Bank has always placed customer service as one of its highest priorities,” stated Mark Klein, president and chief executive officer of Rurban and State Bank. “We remain committed to deliver that same level of service to our West Unity customers. Our three neighboring banking centers in Williams County look forward to meeting our West Unity customers and continuing to meet their banking needs.
“We constantly evaluate our branch network to maximize its efficiency in light of industry and consumer trends toward online and mobile banking,” added Mr. Klein. “Our electronic banking transactions have increased over 100% since 2008, mirroring trends throughout the United States. The shift to electronic banking has brought certain efficiencies to our customers and to State Bank, but it has also reduced traffic in our branch network. With usage of our branch network declining, combined with stricter banking regulations, low interest rates and a challenging economy, it is imperative that we seek out opportunities to reduce costs while maintaining our service levels.”
Ryan D. Miller, regional president for Williams County, added that the Bank is expanding its staff in its three remaining Williams County banking centers. “We plan to retain our entire West Unity staff and reassign them to the three offices, so there should be no interruption of service levels for our West Unity customers.”