Welcome Michelle Cox to First Farmers Bank & Trust!
First Farmers Bank & Trust would like to welcome Michelle Cox to our agricultural and commercial lending team. Michelle has over 24 years of experience in agricultural and commercial banking in Carroll, Cass, and Miami counties. She graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor of Science degree where she majored in Management. Michelle currently resides in Flora, Indiana with her husband and two children. She active in the Carroll County Community Foundation, Carroll County Redevelopment Commission, Flora United Methodist Church, Flora Rotary, Flora Community Club, Carroll Ag Association, and the Carroll FFA Alumni. In her spare time, she enjoys following her children’s sports and volunteering in community projects. Michelle is located at 123 North Jefferson Street in Converse, Indiana. She can be reached at (765) 395-3316 or (800) 371-3316. She would love to assist you with any and all of your commercial or agricultural lending needs! Welcome to First Farmers, Michelle!
First Farmers Financial Corp. Declares Dividend
Converse, Ind., June 10, 2015 -- First Farmers Financial Corp. (OTC PINK:FFMR), the parent company of First Farmers Bank & Trust Co., announced that on June 9, 2015 the Board of Directors approved a quarterly cash dividend for the second quarter of 2015 of $0.29 per share, payable on July 15, 2015 to shareholders of record as of June 30, 2015. This quarterly dividend represents an 11.5% increase over the quarterly dividend declared in June 2014.
First Farmers Financial Corp is a $1.48 billion financial holding company headquartered in Converse, Indiana. First Farmers Bank & Trust has 28 offices throughout Cass, Clay, Grant, Hamilton, Howard, Huntington, Madison, Marshall, Miami, Johnson, Starke, Sullivan, Tipton, Vermillion, Vigo and Wabash counties in Indiana and 8 offices in Coles, Edgar and Vermilion counties in Illinois.
First Farmers Bank & Trust was recognized as a Five Star Member of the Indiana Bankers Association (IBA) at IBA’s 2015 Mega Conference on May 12 in downtown Indianapolis. The bank earned the award in recognition of its commitment to the IBA in the areas of political awareness, issues advocacy, life-long learning, volunteerism and Preferred Service Provider utilization. It is the 7th consecutive year that the bank has been awarded this designation
(Converse, IN) First Farmers Financial Corp., parent company of First Farmers Bank & Trust Co., today reported net income of $3.5 million for the first quarter of 2015, a decrease of $0.4 million, or 10.1% versus $3.9 million for the first quarter of 2014. Earnings per share decreased 10.8% to $0.99 vs. $1.11 while return on average equity for the first quarter was 12.5%. The healthy return on average equity in the current quarter was a continuation from recent years. As recently reported by The American Banker, the Company’s return on average equity between 2012 and 2014 earned it the 4th place ranking nationally among the Top 200 Publicly Traded Community Banks with assets under $2 billion. Total assets ended the quarter at $1.3 billion, an increase of 6.5% from March 31, 2014.
As of March 31, 2015, portfolio loans had increased 4.4% to $958.5 million from March 31, 2014 as loan demand in new and existing markets remained steady. “We have been encouraged by improvements in many of the local economies of North Central Indiana and Eastern Illinois which we serve. We understand the important role community banks play in supporting these rural and semi-rural communities as the industry consolidates and we have found that local commercial enterprises, agribusinesses and individuals value the responsiveness and community ties of First Farmers’ lenders. We feel this is one of the key factors to our success in recent years,” commented Gene Miles, President and Chief Executive Officer.
Deposit balances increased 6.1% to $1.08 billion between March 31, 2014 and March 31, 2015 as the Company acquired offices with $120.9 million in deposits during the fourth quarter of 2014 in Cass, Clay, Grant, Sullivan and Vigo counties in Indiana. Another factor contributing to deposit growth was the fourth quarter 2014 introduction of Harvest Rewards Checking, a product that gives depositors the opportunity to earn a favorable APY in this period of ultra-low interest rates. Not reflected yet in the March 31, 2015 deposit figures, First Farmers completed the acquisition of another five branch offices in Vermilion and Edgar Counties, Illinois with total deposits of approximately $148 million. This transaction closed on April 18, 2015 and will be reflected in second quarter results.
While assets, loans and liabilities increased between March 31, 2014 and March 31, 2015, earnings declined slightly for the respective quarters due primarily to lower net interest margins, increased operating costs and costs associated with strategic initiatives, including business combination transaction costs. Net interest margin compression continued to limit revenue growth as a lower loan to asset ratio and falling asset yields contributed to a 0.18% decline in tax equivalent net interest margin to 3.73% in the 2015 quarter. The provision for loan losses of $0.5 million remained unchanged between March quarters. Operating non-interest income increased 22.9% to $2.6 million in the 2015 quarter on improvements in mortgage banking activities, debit card usage and service charge revenues. Operating expenses increased 19.0% to $8.9 million for the three months ended March 31, 2015 as strategic initiatives and the broader branch network lifted personnel, occupancy, information technology and legal and advisory costs higher.
First Farmers Financial Corp. is the financial holding company for First Farmers Bank & Trust Co., one of nation’s largest agricultural banks with branch offices in Cass, Clay, Grant, Hamilton, Howard, Huntington, Johnson, Madison, Miami, Tipton, Vermillion, Vigo and Wabash counties in Indiana and Coles, Edgar and Vermilion counties in Illinois.