Merchants’ Solid Earnings Report Allows for Dividend Declaration

Greg Evans, President & CEO

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

As a result of solid earnings performance, the MFGI Board of Directors authorized retention of a semiannual dividend of 75 cents per share to shareholders during its October meeting. Dividends will be paid in December to shareholders of record as of November 20, 2020.

“Despite economic challenges, Merchants’ reputation as a trusted advisor for families, businesses and community partners has resulted in steady earnings for the third quarter. Our top priority remains working with customers and in our communities to be a resource of assistance and support during these difficult times,” said Evans.

Earnings through the third quarter were $14,717,981, which were $821,640 ahead of MFGI’s 2020 plan and $250,000 ahead of 2019 third-quarter performance. Quarterly earnings were profitable for MFGI even though the Company reversed $3.2 million out of income in the form of additional Allowance for Loan/Lease Loss Reserves as a precautionary measure due to possible future economic uncertainties.

MFGI’s residential mortgage lending operation continues to be the main driver of positive earnings results, with origination volume of $713.6 million and a net income contribution $6.97 million ahead of plan through the first three quarters. In addition, deposit growth continues to be strong, with year-over-year growth of 28% for total deposits of $2.3 billion.

In September, Merchants also participated in the Minnesota Bankers Association’s Community Impact Month initiative with more than half of the Company’s Minnesota locations coordinating community support events. From highway clean ups and free document shredding to a clothing drive, locations selected the efforts that had specific benefits to their local communities. While community support is a Merchants’ focus year-round, it was a privilege to highlight these specific events during the month.

The ownership of Merchants Financial Group, Inc. is made up of its more than 440 employees and its shareholders, mostly individuals and families from southeastern Minnesota and west-central Wisconsin.

Merchants Bank is a full service community bank with 21 bank locations in southeastern Minnesota, two bank locations in west-central Wisconsin and a leasing division, Merchants Bank Equipment Finance, in Edina. Headquartered in Winona, MN, MFGI has more than $2.5 billion in assets. Merchants was founded in 1875. Member FDIC.