Lake Trust Credit Union to buy branch from Mercantile Bank

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Lake Trust Credit Union in Brighton, Mich., will expand its reach into western Michigan with the purchase of a Mercantile Bank branch.

That branch, in Hastings, a small community about 40 miles southeast of Mercantile’s Grand Rapids headquarters, will be Lake Trust’s second location there. Most of the credit union’s facilities are in central and eastern parts of the state. Operations at the existing branch are expected to be transitioned to the new location at a later date after renovations.

The deal, expected to close early next year, includes the 4,300- square-foot branch, all related assets and roughly $16 million in deposits.

“Lake Trust has a long history of serving the Hastings community," David Snodgrass, the credit union's CEO, said in a Monday press release.

"As we consistently work to enhance our member experience, the purchase of Mercantile Bank’s Hastings branch will offer expanded convenience and accessibility for Lake Trust members in the area,” Snodgrass added. “For current Mercantile Bank customers, we look forward to introducing them to Lake Trust and helping them reach their financial goals.”

Mercantile said in the release that it “continues to refine its branch network based on customer trends, ensuring it meets the needs of customers today and in the future,” particularly as more consumers embrace digital banking options. Several community banks in recent weeks have announced branch closures and reductions of their branch networks.

Mercantile said in July that it would close branches in the Michigan communities of Alma, Ionia and Lakeview.

Mercantile is Michigan’s third-largest bank, with $4.4 billion in assets and 39 branches in the state. Lake Trust is the state’s seventh-largest credit union, with more than $2.1 billion assets and 176,000 members.

Lake Trust earned more than $7 million during the first three quarters of 2020, a 23% increase from a year earlier, driven by a lift in noninterest income and a slight reduction in noninterest expenses.

ProBank Austin and Dickinson Wright advised Mercantile. Honigman advised Lake Trust.

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