Mercantile expands into Ohio

Michigan’s Mercantile Bank is expanding into the Ohio market with the opening of a new mortgage lending center in Cincinnati.

The move by the Grand Rapids-based bank is the first outside its home state in the bank’s 23-year history. Mercantile is targeting West Chester for the officer, which will be led by Aaron Williams, vice president of mortgage market manager, according to the Cincinnati Business Courier.

Mortgage lending has been a bright spot at Mercantile this year, rising 79 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier and about 150 percent through the first nine months of 2020. The bank made $237.1 million in mortgage loans during the third quarter and $645.5 million through the first three quarters. It reported income on those numbers of $9.5 million and $19.7 million, respectively.

“We look forward to joining the greater Cincinnati community where we believe that our people and commitment to providing an exceptional mortgage loan experience will be a welcomed addition,” said Ray Reitsma, president of the $4.4 billion Mercantile.

The bank announced last week it would be selling one of its branches to a Michigan credit union.