Merchants’ Strength Allows for Dividend Declaration, COVID-19 Relief Initiatives

Greg Evans, President & CEO

Merchants Financial Group, Inc. (MFGI) has announced financial results for the first quarter and a dividend payment to shareholders, according to MFGI President & CEO Gregory M. Evans.

As a result of continued strong performance, the MFGI Board of Directors authorized a semiannual dividend of 75 cents per share to shareholders during its April meeting. Dividends will be paid in June to shareholders of record as of May 22. First quarter earnings of $3,806,000 were slightly behind MFGI’s 2020 plan, but ahead of 2019 first quarter performance.

“While our earnings for the first quarter of the year were solid, these results seem insignificant when we consider the current state of the world and the challenges many of our customers and communities are facing,” said Evans. “It’s evident that the banking industry will also face extraordinary challenges going forward, but we will be absolutely unwavering in our ongoing commitment to be a trusted advisor for our clients and a leader in our communities as we face the upcoming challenges together. Our dividend declaration is representative of strength and resolve.”

Merchants has committed to assisting customers experiencing financial hardship due to the pandemic through several initiatives, including loan payment deferral relief on many business, personal and mortgage loans, and emergency business funds through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Through the first wave of PPP, the Small Business Administration approved 1,050 PPP loans through Merchants with funds totaling approximately $200 million. While Bank customers were the priority throughout the first round of funding, Merchants anticipates being able to accommodate some non-customer requests during the awaited second round.

In addition to these relief programs, Merchants has also contributed to several community funds to assist individuals and businesses affected, including a $50,000 donation to the Winona Port Authority Emergency Loan Fund.

For additional information on financial relief options available through the CARES Act, other assistance programs and updates regarding contribution deadlines and distribution requirements for retirement accounts, visit www.merchantsbank.com/personalresources.

Merchants Bank is a full service community bank with 19 bank locations in southeastern Minnesota, two bank locations in west-central Wisconsin and a leasing division, Merchants Bank Equipment Finance, in Edina. MFGI also owns the First National Bank of Northfield, with two banking offices in Northfield and a loan production office in Bloomington, MN. Headquartered in Winona, MN, MFGI has more than $2.1 billion in assets. Merchants was founded in 1875.

Merchants Financial Group, Inc. is a publicly-traded company. Ownership is made up of its more than 440 employees and mostly individuals and families from southeastern Minnesota and west-central Wisconsin.