Grabill and Markle Banks Ready for Merge

By Max Resnik

September 11, 2012 Updated Sep 11, 2012 at 5:02 PM EST

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – Grabill and Markle Banks will soon complete a merger that began in 2005 to become iAB Financial Bank.

The merger, occurring October 9, will fuse two separately chartered banks into one bank. It is a move made possible after approval for an inter-agency merger in August by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Department of Financial Institution. Both Grabill and Markle Banks, since 2005, have been operated under the same holding company, Independent Alliance Banks.

Over the course of the last seven years, Grabill and Markle Banks have already consolidated their backroom functions, such as administrative and operations. Now, the banks’ financial services will merge. Independent Alliance Banks President and CEO Michael C. Marhenke, in a written statement, says the quality services offered by each bank will continue with the merger.

“Both banks have been successful in providing quality services to customers as well as being leaders in the communities we serve. The company is strategically focused on growth, and this consolidation into a single bank will allow us to expand our service network, provide larger loans to our borrowers, allow for more career opportunities for our employees and have a larger base from which to support our local communities.”

Karen Cameron, executive vice president of corporate services for Independent Alliance Banks, says merging was the best move for iAB Financial Bank at this time.

“As we have grown and as we continue to see our organization grow, we just felt like strategically it didn't really make sense for us to be Grabill anymore or Markle anymore, so let's consolidate. It gives us a lot of growth for the future.”

Cameron says that in addition to the specific areas of increased efficiency and expansions mentioned by Marhenke, the bank will maintain its position as an institution built for the community.

“This was a way to kind of bring community banks together so they could continue to do things that they do best, and that's get involved in their communities, service their customers, take and deposit dollars and loan that out so we can build our communities.”

The weekend of October 6, customers could experience some headaches as the bank will begin consolidating its online and phone banking systems as well as its ATM services before the October 9 unveiling.

About iAB Financial Bank:
• 30,000 customers
• 17 branches
• A mortgage center with two regional offices and a wealth management division
• $1 billion in assets
• 250 employees




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