Meet ICBA’s top industry loan producers for 2019. Whether they specialize in agricultural, consumer or commercial lending, they’re keeping America’s economy moving.

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Mechanics Bank

Mansfield, Ohio

($500 million to $1 billion)

Asset size:
$542 million

Consumer loans to assets ratio:

Rank in category: 3

Creating a culture of individuality

Mechanics Bank fosters a fun and personal approach to keep customers coming back.

Mechanics Bank credits a number of factors for the growth of its consumer loan production. It could be its long history in the community, or it could be its use of educational videos, social media and creative marketing. But the foundation of its strategy hinges on a simple philosophy: It’s all about people.

“We want to take each person that we come in contact with and create a unique experience for them,” says Mark Masters, president and CEO of the $542 million-asset Mansfield, Ohio, community bank. “In particular, when we’re talking about consumer and mortgage lending, we’re trying to help our customers consider us to be a trusted advisor.”

Despite the rise of online lending competitors, Mechanics Bank has found that more than 90% of its customers prefer to sit down and talk to a loan officer face to face. “That’s what our lenders do to really listen and figure out what is best for our customers,” says Deborah Adams, the bank’s executive vice president and lending supervisor. Loan officers listen to customers, answer questions and get to know customers as individuals to better understand their needs.

We’re trying to create a culture that is unique and easily recognizable to our customer base.”
—Mark Masters, Mechanics Bank

Mechanics Bank has seen a significant increase in its consumer loan production over the past five years, with an annual growth rate averaging about 16%. The bank is well known in the community for its residential mortgage lending. The community bank has nine offices and a team of seven full-time consumer and mortgage lenders, as well as seven branch managers who oversee lending at individual offices.

Every bank gets plenty of phone and online inquiries about loan rates or terms. Mechanics Bank recognizes that it’s tough to compete only on that level, because there’s almost always another lender willing to offer a better deal. “We try to never let the inquiry end with a phone response,” Masters says. “We want to sit down with the borrower and help them understand, based on their needs, how our product can help them and position them for the future.”

A testament to that trusted advisor role is the fact that the community bank has turned down loan requests only to see those same applicants return in the future. Lenders give valuable advice so that borrowers are able to come back and obtain a loan when their circumstances are different.

Founded in 1886, Mechanics Bank has a long history of serving Richland County. The community bank continues to reach new customers through video and guerilla marketing in social media and original educational and strategic marketing. The bank also tries to have a little fun in the process. It created a YouTube video with a staffer disguised as a talking ATM who chatted with customers and handed out extra cash to drive-up customers who were willing to sing, car dance or take selfies.

“We’re trying to create a culture that is unique and easily recognizable to our customer base,” Masters says. “We try to do fun things online that capture their attention, and we try to demonstrate that what they will find at our bank is different than what they find elsewhere.”

Consumer: Less than $500M in assets
RankBank NameCityStateConsumer loans to assests ratio
1 Lawrenceburg Federal Bank Lawrenceburg TN 89.92%
2 Union Building and Loan Savings Bank West Bridgewater PA 85.14%
3 First Western Federal Savings Bank Rapid City SD 84.56%
4 Fairfield Federal Savings and Loan Association of Lancaster Lancaster OH 83.38%
5 First Federal Savings and Loan Association Pascagoula MS 80.51%
6 Brazos National Bank Richwood TX 79.26%
7 North Country Savings Bank Canton NY 79.05%
8 Natbank, N.A. Hollywood FL 78.75%
9 Raymond Federal Bank Raymond WA 77.37%
10 Home Loan Investment Bank, F.S.B. Warwick RI 77.28%
11 Homewood Federal Savings Bank Baltimore MD 77.20%
12 First Federal Bank, A F.S.B. Tuscaloosa AL 76.65%
13 Oculina Bank Vero Beach FL 76.60%
14 First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Bath Bath ME 76.57%
15 First Federal Savings & Loan Association of Ravenswood Ravenswood WV 76.35%
16 Citizens Savings Bank Clarks Summit PA 76.20%
17 Priority Bank Fayetteville AR 76.05%
18 Mid-Central Federal Savings Bank Wadena MN 75.89%
19 Huntingdon Valley Bank Huntingdon Valley PA 74.35%
20 First Federal Savings Bank of Lincolnton Lincolnton NC 73.74%
Consumer: $500M to $1B in assets
RankBank NameCityStateConsumer loans to assests ratio
1 Geddes Federal Savings and Loan Association Syracuse NY 92.60%
2 Great Midwest Bank, S.S.B. Brookfield WI 73.84%
3 Mechanics Bank Mansfield OH 72.48%
4 1st Financial Bank USA Dakota Dunes SD 71.34%
5 Winchester Co-Operative Bank Winchester MA 67.96%
6 First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Greene Co Waynesburg PA 67.13%
7 Time Federal Savings Bank Medford WI 62.62%
8 Landmark Community Bank Collierville TN 62.21%
9 Evergreen Bank Group Oak Brook IL 60.96%
10 Coastal Heritage Bank Weymouth MA 60.90%
11 Bogota Savings Bank Teaneck NJ 60.35%
12 Somerset Savings Bank, S.L.A. Bound Brook NJ 59.05%
13 Elmira Savings Bank Elmira NY 58.72%
14 Greenfield Savings Bank Greenfield MA 58.45%
15 Saco & Biddeford Savings Institution Saco ME 58.41%
16 Savings Bank Wakefield MA 57.89%
17 Apex Bank Camden TN 57.58%
18 Torrington Savings Bank Torrington CT 57.47%
19 Oconee Federal Savings and Loan Association Seneca SC 57.14%
20 Harleysville Bank Harleysville PA 55.23%
Consumer: More than $1B in assets
RankBank NameCityStateConsumer loans to assests ratio
1 First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Lakewood Lakewood OH 70.56%
2 Northpointe Bank Grand Rapids MI 66.40%
3 Haven Savings Bank Hoboken NJ 63.12%
4 Kennebec Savings Bank Augusta ME 61.69%
5 Think Mutual Bank Rochester MN 59.49%
6 Embassy Bank for the Lehigh Valley Bethlehem PA 52.73%
7 Chelsea Groton Bank Norwich CT 52.60%
8 BAC Florida Bank Coral Gables FL 52.50%
9 Metro City Bank Doraville GA 50.85%
10 Savings Bank of Danbury Danbury CT 50.75%
11 UniBank for Savings Whitinsville MA 50.29%
12 Cornerstone Bank Spencer MA 50.20%
13 Maspeth Federal Savings and Loan Association Maspeth NY 50.16%
14 Jersey Shore State Bank Williamsport PA 49.55%
15 Dedham Institution for Savings Dedham MA 46.74%
16 Royal Business Bank Los Angeles CA 46.67%
17 Leader Bank, N.A. Arlington MA 46.41%
18 First PREMIER Bank Sioux Falls SD 46.08%
19 Northfield Savings Bank Northfield VT 45.82%
20 HarborOne Bank Brockton MA 45.42%

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First Bank

Hamilton, N.J.

($1 billion or more)

Asset size:
$1.8 billion

Commercial loans to assets ratio:

Rank in category: 6

M&A activity fuels growth at First Bank

The New Jersey community bank has seen robust growth through its M&A strategy and by cultivating lasting customer relationships.

Commercial lending at First Bank in Hamilton, N.J., has soared in parallel with its rapid expansion. Founded in 2007, the community bank has acquired three small financial institutions in the region over the past five years, which has helped boost its asset size to more than $1.8 billion.

First Bank’s commercial lending business has clearly benefited from its acquisition strategy, which has expanded its geographic footprint to 18 branches across New Jersey and Pennsylvania. “We want to continue to grow the bank, and M&A is part of what we do,” says Peter J. Cahill, the community bank’s executive vice president and chief lending officer. Earlier this year, First Bank announced plans to acquire Grand Bank in Hamilton, N.J., in a deal that is still pending regulatory approval.

First Bank Team
First Bank’s team includes president and CEO Peter J. Cahill (center-left) and (from left) Scott W. Civil, Terrance R. Howard, Marianne E. DeSimone, David J. DiStefano, Joseph R. Calabro and Gene C. McCarthy (not pictured).

Yet even without the flurry of acquisitions, the bank has been achieving robust organic growth. Its assets have increased by more than $1.2 billion in the past five years, and 60% of that growth has been organic.
Its lending platform—90% of which is commercial loans—is also enjoying strong organic growth. The community bank’s loan portfolio, excluding last year’s acquisition of Delanco Bancorp, grew by $178 million in 2018, an annual rate of 15%.

Keeping things personal

First Bank sits in the middle of a densely populated area where there are a lot of businesses—and banks. People and relationships are a key part of serving that market of business and commercial real estate customers, and the bank employs 22 relationship

“When we hire new RMs, we spend a lot of time making sure we hire the right people,” Cahill says.
First Bank has a board of directors that consists of former bankers and other professionals, such as real estate developers and CPAs. “We believe in networking and referral sources. We like to do as much business as we can with clients, and then we talk to them about their clients, associates, friends and neighbors,” Cahill adds.

As a community bank, another factor that gives First Bank an edge in the competitive lending market is its flexibility and access to decision makers.

In the past 18 months, First Bank has created a regional structure to put more focus on regional decision-making and accommodate its growth in its target markets. The community bank now has a president in each geographic region, including eastern Pennsylvania, central New Jersey and northern New Jersey. “That has been very positive, because it improves turnaround time and lets customers and prospects know that they are dealing with a decision maker who has authority,” Cahill says.

First Bank is willing to follow its customers to new markets. If a bank customer in Trenton, N.J., wants to buy an investment property in Florida or somewhere in the Midwest, the bank will work with the customer to do that financing even though the property is outside of its footprint.

“Our view is that with the right clients and appropriate legal help, we’re willing to take on that type of risk for real estate loans,” says Cahill, “and that’s the type of flexibility we bring to folks.”

Commercial: Less than $500M in assets
RankBank NameCityStateCommericial loans to assests ratio
1 Independence Bank East Greenwich RI 92.44%
2 Stearns Bank Upsala N.A. Upsala MN 80.86%
3 Stearns Bank Holdingford N.A. Holdingford MN 79.85%
4 Native American Bank, N.A. Denver CO 75.25%
5 Citizens State Bank of Luling Luling TX 71.35%
6 Kirkwood Bank of Nevada Las Vegas NV 70.79%
7 Central Bank of Kansas City Kansas City MO 68.50%
8 Summit Bank Eugene OR 68.25%
9 Washington Business Bank Olympia WA 67.49%
10 Security Bank Minnesota Albert Lea MN 67.48%
11 Huron Valley State Bank Milford MI 66.79%
12 First Bank of the Lake Osage Beach MO 65.34%
13 Legacy Bank of Florida Boca Raton FL 64.66%
14 Northeast Bank Minneapolis MN 63.87%
15 Grand Ridge National Bank Grand Ridge IL 63.64%
16 Texan Bank, National Association Houston TX 63.43%
17 United Bank of El Paso del Norte El Paso TX 63.43%
18 First Home Bank St. Petersburg FL 62.99%
19 Farmers and Merchants Bank Upperco MD 62.67%
20 West Town Bank & Trust North Riverside IL 62.42%
Commercial: $500M to $1B in assets
RankBank NameCityStateCommericial loans to assests ratio
1 CFG Community Bank Lutherville MD 72.79%
2 GBC International Bank Los Angeles CA 71.58%
3 First IC Bank Doraville GA 70.80%
4 The Westchester Bank Yonkers NY 68.95%
5 Northwest Bank Boise ID 65.28%
6 Third Coast Bank, S.S.B. Humble TX 63.67%
7 Modern Bank, N.A. New York NY 62.22%
8 Centric Bank Harrisburg PA 61.71%
9 InsBank Nashville TN 60.58%
10 Waterford Bank, N.A. Toledo OH 60.15%
11 Bank of Wisconsin Dells Wisconsin Dells WI 58.43%
12 Signature Bank, N.A. Toledo OH 58.42%
13 Atlantic Stewardship Bank Midland Park NJ 58.09%
14 Commerce State Bank West Bend WI 57.97%
15 Commercial Bank of California Irvine CA 57.86%
16 Texas Citizens Bank, N.A. Pasadena TX 56.88%
17 Congressional Bank Potomac MD 56.33%
18 Wallis State Bank Wallis TX 56.26%
19 Coastal Community Bank Everett WA 55.89%
20 First National Bank of Michigan Kalamazoo MI 55.65%
Commercial: more than $1B in assets
RankBank NameCityStateCommericial loans to assests ratio
1 Stearns Bank N.A. St. Cloud MN 75.13%
2 Seacoast Commerce Bank San Diego CA 73.15%
3 Shinhan Bank America New York NY 72.30%
4 Open Bank Los Angeles CA 69.22%
5 Alma Bank Astoria NY 67.94%
6 First Bank Hamilton NJ 65.35%
7 Pacific Mercantile Bank Costa Mesa CA 62.80%
8 Northern Bank & Trust Company Woburn MA 62.70%
9 Hanmi Bank Los Angeles CA 62.01%
10 Poppy Bank Santa Rosa CA 61.86%
11 Western State Bank Devils Lake ND 61.64%
12 Bankwell Bank New Canaan CT 61.48%
13 Woori America Bank New York NY 60.21%
14 Mercantile Bank of Michigan Grand Rapids MI 59.92%
15 Level One Bank Farmington Hills MI 58.68%
16 Veritex Community Bank Dallas TX 58.09%
17 Apple Bank for Savings Manhasset NY 56.77%
18 Woodforest National Bank The Woodlands TX 56.31%
19 Bankers Trust Company Des Moines IA 55.64%
20 First Business Bank Madison WI 55.19%

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Next-generation ag lending

Bank of Glen Ullin

Glen Ullin, N.D.

(less than $500 million)

Asset size:
$58 million

Commercial loans to assets ratio:

Rank in category: 2

Bank of Glen Ullin supports its hometown community of farmers who are changing with the times.

The basis for any good agricultural lender is understanding farming, and that is certainly true of North Dakota’s Bank of Glen Ullin. Both of the bank’s loan officers, Bob Spangelo and Bruce Morman, know farming because they are farmers. “That goes a long way, because they fully understand what our customers are going through,” says Jolene Muscha, president of the $58 million-asset bank.

Bank of Glen Ullin is an active ag lender that has been serving its local community in western North Dakota since the community bank was founded in 1944. In fact, more than 95% of the bank’s loans are with farmers who typically raise cattle and grow wheat, corn and sunflowers.

Muscha attributes the bank’s growth in ag lending to changes occurring in the farming industry, rather than an influx of new customers moving to the rural area. Family farms are often handed down from one generation to the next. However, today’s farmers are recognizing that they can no longer survive by farming like their grandparents once did, Muscha says. Farmers used to be able to harvest their wheat, corn or sunflowers, haul it to the elevator and take the price that was available at the time. “That is just impossible [if you want] to make a profit in farming,” she adds.

Bank of Glen Ullin team
Senior loan officer Robert Spangelo, loan officer Bruce Morman, president Jolene Muscha, loan assistant McKenzi Wehri and compliance officer Kelly Hoeven are part of Bank of Glen Ullin’s team.

Over the past three years, Bank of Glen Ullin has encouraged its customers to set up a marketing plan by working with commodity brokerage firms on pricing options to ensure that they can get the right price for their crops. The bank has formed relationships with vendors that will sit down at a farmer’s kitchen table and teach them how to protect pricing. That way, when they plant a crop in April or May, they know what they need to get for a price to cover their costs. The bank manages the bookkeeping on those marketing plans, which are used to provide lines of credit to secure pricing options.

We’re very focused on what’s going on in our community and how we can be a part of it.”
—Jolene Muscha, Bank of Glen Ullin

Although Bank of Glen Ullin is helping farmers adapt to a new way of doing things, one thing that has remained steadfast is its commitment to supporting the community. As a part of that farming family, the bank’s lenders can talk ag loans just as easily as they can debate the best insecticides or fertilizers. Both Spangelo and Morman get time off from their bank duties when they need to tend to farm business—or help a fellow farmer by driving a harvest truck. “We’re very focused on what’s going on in our community and how can we be a part of it,” Muscha says.

That focus on relationships also means that farmers aren’t just a number or name on a loan. “The philosophy that we have here is that we’re partners,” Muscha says. As the financial partner, the bank wants to know how things are going, she adds, especially at the end of the year when they can discuss what worked, what didn’t and what customers want to do to be more successful.

Agriculture: Less than $500M in assets
RankBank NameCityStateAgriculture loans to assests ratio
1 State Bank of Bellingham Bellingham MN 81.12%
2 Bank of Glen Ullin Glen Ullin ND 77.93%
3 State Bank of Lismore Lismore MN 74.52%
4 Nebraska State Bank Oshkosh NE 73.29%
5 Bank of Lindsay Lindsay NE 73.17%
6 Heartland State Bank Redfield SD 72.46%
7 Bank of Newman Grove Newman Grove NE 71.97%
8 Peoples Savings Bank Elma IA 70.20%
9 Security State Bank Sutherland IA 69.85%
10 United Farmers State Bank Adams MN 67.71%
11 Currie State Bank Currie MN 67.38%
12 First Bank and Trust of Fullerton Fullerton NE 67.37%
13 Logan State Bank Logan IA 67.31%
14 Farmers and Merchants Bank Milligan NE 67.26%
15 BankNorth Arthur ND 66.74%
16 Farmers and Merchants Bank of Kendall Kendall WI 66.73%
17 Citizens State Bank Wisner NE 66.41%
18 First State Bank Randolph NE 66.25%
19 Sandhills State Bank Bassett NE 65.62%
20 Great Plains State Bank Petersburg NE 64.88%
Agriculture: $500M to $1B in assets
RankBank NameCityStateAgriculture loans to assests ratio
1 Premier Bank Rock Valley IA 58.17%
2 Peoples Bank Rock Valley IA 53.39%
3 Iowa State Bank Hull IA 46.47%
4 American State Bank Sioux Center IA 46.05%
5 Midwest Bank N.A. Pierce NE 44.40%
6 Independence Bank Havre MT 43.91%
7 Bank Forward Hannaford ND 43.77%
8 Pilot Grove Savings Bank Pilot Grove IA 41.50%
9 Availa Bank Carroll IA 41.39%
10 Peoples State Bank Prairie Du Chien WI 36.67%
11 First Bank of Berne Berne IN 36.54%
12 American Bank & Trust Wessington Springs SD 36.34%
13 United Prairie Bank Mountain Lake MN 34.65%
14 Dakota Community Bank & Trust, N. A. Hebron ND 31.75%
15 Fidelity Bank & Trust Dubuque IA 31.72%
16 GNB Bank Grundy Center IA 29.97%
17 Frontier Bank Omaha NE 27.82%
18 Pinnacle Bank - Wyoming Torrington WY 27.15%
19 Merchants National Bank Hillsboro OH 25.96%
20 Crockett National Bank San Antonio TX 24.78%
Agriculture: More than $1B in assets
RankBank NameCityStateAgriculture loans to assests ratio
1 United Bank of Iowa Ida Grove IA 57.19%
2 First Financial Bank El Dorado AR 53.25%
3 Investors Community Bank Manitowoc WI 47.97%
4 First Farmers Bank & Trust Co. Converse IN 36.23%
5 Dacotah Bank Aberdeen SD 36.00%
6 BankWest, Inc. Pierre SD 34.12%
7 Minnwest Bank Redwood Falls MN 33.83%
8 Pinnacle Bank Lincoln NE 23.87%
9 First Citizens Bank Mason City IA 22.81%
10 Choice Financial Group Fargo ND 22.76%
11 Bank of Commerce Ammon ID 22.21%
12 First National Bank in Sioux Falls Sioux Falls SD 21.77%
13 Stockman Bank of Montana Miles City MT 21.34%
14 First State Bank Mendota IL 19.22%
15 Great Western Bank Sioux Falls SD 17.76%
16 D. L. Evans Bank Burley ID 17.32%
17 First National Bank Paragould AR 16.53%
18 American Bank Center Dickinson ND 16.36%
19 Farmers & Merchants State Bank Archbold OH 16.32%
20 Lincoln Savings Bank Cedar Falls IA 16.07%