Merchants Financial Group, Inc. Announces Record Year with $13,454,698 in Net Income


Rod Nelson, President/CEO

Preliminary net income numbers for Merchants Financial Group, Inc. (MFGI) show its best year in history with $13,454,698 in earnings, according to MFGI President & CEO Rodney R. Nelson. The numbers are subject to final audit.

The record year is consistent with the strong earnings history of the organization. The previous record was $12,439,492 in net income in 2012.

“All of our employees across our 21 locations did great work in 2015,” Nelson said. “The work of our lenders was especially critical to our success in 2015.”

Nelson noted that loan growth was 12.1% over 2014. Deposits increased by 2.6% and MFGI’s capital grew from $131.2 million at year end 2014 to $139 million at year end 2015, a 5.9% increase. Total assets ended the year at $1,589,202,831.

Nelson said four locations – Winona, Lakeville, Onalaska and Hastings – and the company’s leasing division, Merchants Bank Equipment Finance, topped $1 million in net income.

“It is important to note that all our locations contributed significantly to our record year. As a community banking organization, the size of our banks and the communities they serve vary greatly, and the leadership in those locations are empowered to best meet the needs of their customers and the area. We think this sets us apart in the banking industry,” Nelson said. “Our success has been built on the long-term personal relationships our employees build with our customers. We believe that is a primary reason people choose Merchants Bank.”

MFGI owns 21 Merchants Bank locations, including Minnesota locations in Winona, St. Charles, Goodview, Rochester, Rushford, Lanesboro, Caledonia, La Crescent, Spring Grove, Cannon Falls, Red Wing, Hampton, and the southern Twin Cities metropolitan suburbs of Apple Valley, Cottage Grove, Hastings, Lakeville and Rosemount. Merchants has Wisconsin locations in Eau Claire and Onalaska. All banks are FDIC members and equal housing lenders. Additionally, MFGI also owns Twin Cities-based Merchants Bank Equipment Finance, a division of Merchants Bank, N.A.

The ownership of Merchants Financial Group is made up of its more than 450 employees and its shareholders, mostly individuals and families from southeastern Minnesota and west-central Wisconsin.

Enter our Easter Coloring Contest


It’s easy to enter!

  1. Color your coloring sheet.
    0-5 years coloring sheet
    6-9 years coloring sheet
    10+ years coloring sheet
  2. Complete the Registration Information at the bottom of this page.
  3. Drop off or mail your completed coloring sheet to your nearest Merchants Bank location by March 25 to be entered in our contest. You could win a prize!*

And, because you and all of our young savers are important to us, we’ll have a special Easter treat waiting for you for returning your entry. We look forward to seeing you and don’t forget to tell a friend about our Easter coloring contest!

*Please submit entries by March 25, 2016. Judging will take place on March 25, 2016 at 4:00 p.m. Three age groups: 0-5 years, 6-9 years, and 10 years and older. A prize will be awarded to each age group. No purchase or customer relationship necessary to enter or win. One entry per person. Winner will be notified by telephone. Children of Merchants employees are not eligible to win.

Congratulate New and Promoted Staff

Please help us welcome the following new team members to Merchants Bank.

BeardsleyHeatherHeather Beardsley has transferred from her role as a Credit Operations Representative to Retail Lending Assistant in Winona. Heather has been in the Credit Operations Department since 2014. Previously she was a Personal Banker at Minnesota First Credit and Savings and a Sales Associate/Assistant Manager for Sherwin Williams. Heather spends a lot of her time with her family and her pride and joy is her four year old son.



LawrenceJessiJessi Lawrence has joined Merchants Bank as a Teller in La Crescent. Jessi is a full-time student at Viterbo University with a major in Liberal Studies. She lives in La Crescent and has a two year old Golden Retriever named Bodi. Jessi previously worked at Onalaska Care Center and Flowers by Guenthers. She loves being outside and spending time with family and friends.



LivingstonCaitlynCaitlyn Livingston has joined Merchants Bank as a Teller in Rosemount. Caitlyn previously worked at Cub Foods in Customer Service and Carmike Cinemas. She is currently attending Inver Hills Community College, loves animals and traveling.

What You Should Know about Credit Utilization


While the actual formula for calculating a credit score has never been revealed by the Federal Trade Commission, we know credit scores are based primarily on credit report information from the credit bureaus. One piece of this puzzle is your outstanding debt, which includes your credit utilization.

What is credit utilization?
Credit utilization is how much credit you are using compared to how much you have available on your credit card accounts. This amount is typically expressed as a percentage and may also be referred to as your credit utilization ratio. For example, if you have a credit card with a $10,000 limit and your current balance is $5,000; your credit utilization ratio is 50%.

Keep in mind that your credit utilization is comprised of the revolving credit card debt on all of your cards and not influenced by other types of loans you may have, for example a home or vehicle loan.

How much does it impact my credit score?
Most experts agree that your credit utilization ratio accounts for 30% of your credit score. Being almost a third of the potential calculation, your credit utilization can have a significant impact on your score and is something you should keep an eye on.

Is there a perfect formula for managing my outstanding debt?
Perfect? No. But, it’s generally advisable to keep your credit utilization ratio at no more than 30%. This means you’re using no more than 30% of your available credit lines across all of your credit card accounts. In addition, keep these tips in mind:

  • Track how much you charge each month to get a handle on your credit utilization.
  • In addition to tracking how much you charge, know your current limits for each of your credit cards so you can properly calculate your own ratio.
  • Set up automatic balance alerts on your cards so you know when you’re getting close to the 30% ratio.

If you’re looking for a great rate to help you manage your credit card balances, consider a Merchants Bank Visa ScoreCard Credit Card.* We offer 0% APR for the first six months on all balances transfers and purchases and an everyday low rate of 9.99% after that. View disclosures and apply now.

For more credit score education, visit our website or view our video series.

*Subject to approval.

3 Key Features of the New Merchants Bank Website

In the first quarter of this year, we’ll be launching the new and improved Thanks to your feedback we’ve made a number of improvements including easier navigation, a cleaner and clutter-free look and much more. Here are three important changes:

1. Menu Navigation
To access any page on the Merchants Bank website, you’ll click (from a desktop or laptop computer) or press (from a mobile device) on the menu button, located at the top right of the new homepage.

Once clicked, the menu will expand to show topics.
Click the green plus button next to a specific topic, such as Personal, to see pages for personal customers.

Click on a sub-topic, such as Bank, to see pages for personal banking services.

To access a page, click on the page name.

2. Online Banking Login Box

To sign in to your Online Banking account, use the gold box in the middle of the home page.

Simply type your username and password in the appropriate boxes and click the Login button.

3. Find a Branch or ATM

To find the nearest Merchants Bank location, phone number or ATM, follow the directions above to find the Menu and then select Find a Branch or ATM from the top of the menu.

Our branch and ATM locater will now allow you to search for a location by zip code. In addition, locations will automatically load based on your current location.

Watch our website for more tips and updates on the new, coming in the very near future.

Come See Us at These Home and Garden Shows


Stop by and see us at the Merchants Bank booth at the following Home and Garden Shows this Spring.

For more information on upcoming events, visit our Facebook page.

2/19-2/21 Chippewa Valley Home and Garden Show
At the Eau Claire Indoor Sports Center
Show Hours
Friday, February 19: 1:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, February 20: 9:00 a.m. – 5: 00 p.m.
Sunday, February 21: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.Cost is $8 for a daily pass, $12 for a weekend pass. Children 12 and under are free.
2/20-2/21 St. Charles Area Home and Business Expo
At the St. Charles Elementary School

Show Hours
Saturday, February 20: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, February 21: 10:00 a.m. – 2: 00 p.m.

3/5-3/6 Winona Better Living Home and Builder Show
At Winona Senior High School

Show hours TBA.

3/21 Landscape, Home Expo and Consumer Showcase
At Lakeville North High School
9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
4/7 Builders Association of the Twin Cities Builders and Remodelers Show
At the Minneapolis Convention Center Hall E
2:00 – 8:00 p.m.
4/16 Cottage Grove Area Chamber Business Showcase
At the Cottage Grove Ice Arena
10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Loans are subject to approval.

Change to Online Banking Login Screen on Merchants Bank Website

Click here to login to your Merchants Bank Online Banking Account.

Previous Login Box (Before 1/12/2016)

Online Banking Login Box Before 1/12/2016

New Login Box (After 1/12/2016)

Login Box AFTER 1/12/2016

What’s changing? After clicking on the Online Banking Login button featured on the home page of our website, you will be redirected to a Secure Online Banking login screen where you will enter both your Login ID and Password on the same screen, rather than having to enter them on separate screens. For your protection, if we do not recognize your Login ID, Password, or the device you are logging in from, you will continue to be presented with your personal challenge questions to verify your identity, just as you always have been. Your security is always our top priority.

This is a temporary change. We are in the process of redesigning our website and will be launching our new website in the first quarter of 2016. For your convenience, as part of our new site design you will be able to enter your Login ID and Password directly from the home page of our new website.

If you use Internet Explorer and the login box appears to be cut off, you can solve the problem by clearing your cache. Follow these instructions how to clear your cache in Internet Explorer.

We thank you for your patience as we make this temporary, but necessary change. Your information security is always our top priority. If you have any questions, please contact Merchants Bank Electronic Banking Customer Support at 866-496-0522.