Are Idle Balances Costing Your Business Money?

eNewsSweep

Did you know there are several easy, automatic ways to manage the cash flow of your business? You can use sweep, target or zero balance accounts to efficiently direct your money. Here’s how it works:

Sweep Accounts: A Cash Management Sweep account allows your business to earn income on its extra balance. Your Business Checking account is reviewed daily and excess funds are automatically “swept” into a savings account to earn interest or to a Line of Credit to pay down balances. When you need the funds, the money is swept back in to your Business Checking account. This is a great way for your business to optimize its cash flow. Merchants offers two types of sweep accounts to fit your needs.

Target or Zero Balance Accounts: A Target or Zero-Balance Account is a business checking account that is automatically maintained at a “zero balance” or at a target balance that you specify. Target/Zero-Balance Accounts allow businesses to maintain separate accounts for various divisions, locations, or functions such as payroll, while automatically consolidating cash from those accounts.

If you’d like to learn more about how easy and convenient sweep and target/zero balances accounts could be for your business, contact one of our Cash Management specialists today.

First-Time Homebuyer? Mortgage Pre-Approval is the First Step

MidwestHouse

Where is your dream home? What does it look like? It would be a shame if when you found it, someone else’s offer was accepted before yours because you didn’t have mortgage pre-approval. With mortgage pre-approval you can:

  • Be confident when making an offer on your first home
  • Know how much money you can borrow
  • Show home sellers and realtors that you are serious about making and offer and ready to move forward today
  • Potentially be selected over other home seekers who make an offer who haven’t been pre-approved

Apply for Pre-Approval Now Schedule an appointment with one of our experienced mortgage lenders, or choose a lender and start the process by applying online. Get started.

Start Saving for Your Down Payment According to RealtorMag, it can take an average of 12 and half years for first-time homebuyers to save a 20% down payment for a house.* You can start saving more each day with a Home Buyer’s Certificate of Deposit.** This CD is a smart way to put away money for the future:

  • Interest compounds quarterly, and the CD is renewable every 12 months.
  • Higher rate than a normal 12-month CD.
  • Early withdrawal penalties are waived if the money is used to purchase a residential property financed by Merchants Bank.
  • Start with a $100 minimum deposit and then continue with a minimum deposit of $100 per month.

Click here to start the process for opening your Home Buyer’s CD today.

Loans are subject to credit approval.
*http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2014/11/07/20-down-payment-takes-12-years-saving
**12 Month Home Buyer’s CD requires a $100 minimum opening deposit and a $100 minimum monthly deposit. Additional deposits may be made at any time. Withdrawals prior to maturity will not be subject to penalty if the funds are used to purchase a primary residence that is financed through Merchants Bank, unless funds are withdrawn within 6 days after initial deposit. In this case there is a minimum penalty of 7 days interest. If funds are withdrawn prior to maturity for any other reason a penalty of 180 days interest will be assessed. When funds are withdrawn, either prior to or at maturity, the entire balance must be withdrawn. Partial withdrawals will not be allowed. Mortgage loan is subject to credit approval.

Strong Performance Continued in 2014

BlogLinkImage-RodNelsonMerchants Financial Group, Inc. (MFGI) continued its history of strong performance with $12,349,685 in net income in 2014, according to Merchants Financial Group, Inc. President & CEO Rodney R. Nelson.

It is MFGI’s second highest year in terms of performance, less than $100,000 behind the record year of 2012, when net income was $12,439,492. MFGI has a history of consistent performance. In 2013, MFGI reported net income of $11,612,049.

“Our performance results from the team effort of our talented staff across all of our locations,” Nelson said. “We are pleased with our earnings, which were more than 15 percent over our plan, and we also anticipate continued growth.”

One of the key drivers in the 2014 performance was continued commercial loan growth, which was up 13.97% over 2013. Credit quality was again very strong. Total loan balances increased to $1,107.0 billion, up from $972.3 million in 2013. Total deposits increased to $1,207.0 billion, up from 1,128.8 billion in 2013. Total equity increased to $131.1 million, up from $116.0 million in 2013. The asset size of the Merchants organization also increased to $1,522.6 billion, up from $1,366.0 billion in 2013.

“We are pleased to share these numbers with our shareholders and customers. The numbers show we are well-positioned for continued success,” Nelson said. “We are especially proud of the long-term relationships our employees have built with our customers, helping those customers reach their business and personal financial goals.”

Easy Chicken Divan

BlogRecipe-ChickenDivan

Ingredients:

  • 1 package Rice-A-Roni rice pilaf
  • 1 package Knorr’s Bearnaise sauce
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 pound asparagus spears

 

Directions:

Season chicken breasts to taste and saute in olive oil. While chicken is cooking, prepare rice and sauce according to package directions. Heat asparagus spears in microwave. Spoon 1/2 of the rice onto a plate, place 1/2 of the asparagus spears on top of rice, top with one chicken breast and ladle sauce overall. Serve immediately.

 

Merchants Family Cookbooks are available at all Merchants Bank locations for $15. Proceeds benefit local food shelf programs.

Home Construction Loans: The Basics

Construction loans at Merchants Bank

Have you always dreamed of building your own home, but you aren’t sure where to start? Follow this easy guide to learn the basics of construction loans.

What is a construction loan?
A construction loan is a loan used to pay for the cost of building a new home. When construction on your house is complete, you’ll need to obtain a new loan to pay off the construction costs. At Merchants, we offer construction to permanent financing, which allows customers to borrow for the construction phase and modify that loan to allow them to pay off the construction costs in one simple process.

How does it work?
For qualified applicants, Merchants requires a minimum down payment of 5% if the purchase price is under $417,000. If the purchase price exceeds $417,000, a down payment of 10% is required. With a 5% down payment, you will have a single loan with mortgage insurance at 95%.*

Once you have obtained financing for your construction loan, the builder will typically take draws (payments) throughout the construction phase. During the construction process, you will only be charged monthly interest payments on the amount of the loan advanced.

How do I apply?
Apply online at www.merchantsbank.com or visit your local Merchants Bank to speak to a mortgage lender. After reviewing your application and other information, you will be notified if you’ve been preapproved for both a construction and permanent loan.*

Read our complete guide for successful construction or remodel through the construction loan process, which covers:

  • What information is needed upon application
  • Bids, draws and cost overruns
  • Appraisal value
  • And much more

*Subject to credit approval.
Maximum financing is the highest loan-to-value which varies based on the loan product

 

New Staff Here to Help You

Merchants Bank Staff

At Merchants Bank, we are happy to welcome new employees and celebrate new positions filled by current staff. These frontline employees are all looking forward to serving you. Take a moment to congratulate them

Chad Anderson has joined Merchants Bank as a Business Banker in Winona. Chad has over 14 years of experience in the banking industry and previously worked at Winona National Bank as a Business Banking Officer. He graduated from Winona State University in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science in Finance degree. Chad and his wife, Emily have a 18 month old daughter and reside in Trempealeau. Chad enjoys hunting, fishing, boating, curling and golf.

Alyssa Connolly has joined Merchants Bank as a Teller in Hastings. Alyssa also currently works at the American Legion as a server and was previously at Dominos as the Assistant Manager. Alyssa loves spending time with her beautiful two year old girl.

Holley Fenton has joined Merchants Bank as a Teller in Hastings. Holley previously worked at Crazy 8 as an Assistant Manager and at Treasure Island as a Front Desk Clerk. Holley has four children, a daughter-in-law and one grandson. She also has two horses, two dogs and a cat that they rescued when they lived in Kentucky.

Mary Heise has joined Merchants Bank as a Lead Teller in Rochester. She previously worked at Olmsted National Bank as a Lead Teller and at Sterling State Bank as a Teller. Mary is originally from the area and grew up in Pine Island. She enjoys playing music and spending time outdoors with her pets.

Kevin Finke has joined Merchants Bank as a Business Banker in Winona. Kevin previously worked at Fidelity National Bank as the Vice President of Commercial Lending. He is originally from Maple Lake, MN and graduated from Winona State University with a Bachelor’s degree is Business Administration and an Associates degree in Business Management. Kevin and his wife, April welcomed their first child in July of 2014. He is an avid bow hunter and also enjoys fishing, golf, and spending time with family and friends.

Kim O’Reilly has joined Merchants Bank as a Business Banker in Cannon Falls and Red Wing. Kim previously worked at Associated Bank as a Commercial Relationship Manager and at US Bank as a Commercial Banking Relationship Manager. Kim and her husband, Casey have three boys, Carsyn, Cayden and Jack. Kim and Casey both grew up on a dairy farm and now they own and operate O’Reilly Organic Dairy together. Kim is involved in many volunteer activities, including serving on the United Way Board, being a Red Wing Chamber Ambassador and a Sunday School Teacher.

Jennifer Verrkamp has joined Merchants Bank as a Teller in St. Charles. She previously worked at Endless Journey Child Care as a Teacher’s Assistant and at First National Bank of Bagley as a Teller. Jen grew up in St. Charles, has two sisters and is a twin. She likes to help out on her grandparents’ farm and is planning to have her first garden this spring.