PETOSKEY — Mercantile Bank Corp. has expanded further in the northern Lower Peninsula with the opening of a lending office in Northern Michigan.
The Grand Rapids-based Mercantile Bank opened the downtown Petoskey lending location on Oct. 26 after hiring veteran residential mortgage loan officers Jon Lyons and Bryan Leavitt there last spring.
“Our growth really happens when we find the right people to help grow our bank,” said Senior Vice President and Retail Banking Director Tara Randall. Mercantile in recent years has put greater emphasis on mortgage lending.
The bank originated $259.5 million in residential mortgage loans in the third quarter, and $742 million through the first nine months of 2021, according to its recent third-quarter earnings report.
The Petoskey lending office was “just a natural progression of our growth” and also serves as a “modified” bank branch that includes an interactive ATM. Customers can use the ATM to talk with a teller through videoconferencing and do transactions such as deposits, cash withdrawals, loan payments and cashing checks, Randall said. Mercantile has also deployed interactive ATMs at offices in Holland and Troy.
As well, the Petoskey office provides commercial loans through commercial lenders based out of Mercantile’s Cadillac office who’ll meet with prospective borrowers in Petoskey by appointment, she said.
The location could eventually become a full-service bank branch for Mercantile, as well as lead to other locations in the northern Lower Peninsula, Randall said.
“We are looking at any opportunity to grow our brand up north,” she said. “We see this as a huge opportunity.”
Mercantile Bank earlier this year hired a commercial banker at its Cadillac office to work the Traverse City market, Randall said.
Mercantile Bank last month reported $15 million in net income for the third quarter, or 95 cents per diluted share. That compares to $10.6 million, or 66 cents per diluted share, in the same period in 2020.
Net income for the first nine months of the year totaled $47.3 million, or $2.95 per diluted share, versus $30 million, or $1.84 per diluted share, through three quarters in 2020.
Mercantile Bank has 43 branches in the Lower Peninsula, plus loan offices in Midland, South Haven and Cincinnati, Ohio.