Pharos-Tribune

May 9, 2014

First Farmers buys BMO Harris branch

Logansport bank transferred after First Farmers buys BMO Harris branches

by Sarah Einselen News editor
Pharos-Tribune

---- — Converse-based First Farmers Financial Corp. is buying the Logansport branch of BMO Harris Bank along with the deposits of eight other BMO Harris branches, First Farmers announced Thursday.

The corporation is the parent company for First Farmers Bank and Trust. Overall, the corporation is buying the deposit relationships of BMO Harris Bank branches in Marion, Terre Haute, Farmersburg, Sullivan, Clay City, Brazil, Carlisle and Shelburn as well as Logansport.

First Farmers is also acquiring seven of the nine branches and retaining the employees from all nine locations, according to a release from the company. A spokeswoman for First Farmers in Kokomo confirmed Logansport is one of the seven branches that is being acquired.

The purchase agreement doesn’t include any loans besides overdraft lines of credit, however. The agreement also leaves out commercial accounts, accounts with cash management services and certain other deposit accounts.

All told, the nine branches had deposits of about $134 million as of February, according to the release. As long as regulatory approvals go through, the local BMO Harris Bank will become a First Farmers bank by the end of this year.

First Farmers already operates branches in Galveston and Peru. The bank has 27 offices total in Indiana and Illinois.

Logansport’s BMO Harris branch has already undergone one rebranding, after Bank of Montreal purchased Harris Bank and renamed it in 2012. More than 400 U.S. branches were included in that transfer.

In an email, a First Farmers vice president declined a request for an interview. Tade Powell, vice president of marketing and public relations, said the size and geographical scope of the project meant the company was not granting interviews to any media at this point.

First Farmers Financial Corp. is a $1.2 billion financial holding company headquartered in Converse.

The Logansport bank included in First Financial’s purchase may be reached at 574-722-4516.

Reach Sarah Einselen at sarah.einselen@pharostribune.com or 574-732-5151.