Merchants Financial Group, Inc. (MFGI) announced year-end earnings for 2020 with net income of $21,511,521, according to MFGI President & CEO Gregory M. Evans. The earnings exceeded MFGI’s plan for the year by more than $1.9 million and is an increase of 8.8% over 2019 earnings.
“Despite the challenges we all encountered in 2020, I am proud of our team and our continued commitment to be a financial partner helping our customers fulfill their hopes and dreams. We wouldn’t be the strong community bank we are without loyal customers, community supporters and our dedicated team of employees,” said Evans.
A significant increase in mortgage lending and deposits were two contributing factors to Merchants’ 2020 core earnings results – both driven by the economic changes due to the pandemic. Evans noted that a low-rate environment for much of the year made mortgage refinancing appealing to many and Merchants’ residential loan volume exceeded $950 million for the year, an increase of 77% over 2019. In addition, reduced outlets for spending and changes in consumer habits saw others put more money into the Bank. Year-over-year deposit growth was $376 million, a 21% increase from 2019.
As a source of financial relief for business customers, Merchants originated $207 million in loans through the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Over a third of these loans had been successfully processed through the loan forgiveness aspect of PPP by year-end.
“Our focus on helping customers never wavered and we look forward to continuing to be there as a trusted advisor as we move into 2021 together,” shared Evans.
Merchants is also proud to continue its tradition of community leadership through charitable contributions. Through 2020, MFGI donated more than $609,000 to hundreds of local organizations across its footprint.
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.
Merchants Bank is a full service community bank with 23 bank locations in southeastern Minnesota and 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.