MutualBank to open in Summit City

November 5th, 2015

News Coverage:

MutualBank to open in Summit City
Posted: Thursday, November 5, 2015 11:00 pmBy Doug LeDuc

Opening a Fort Wayne branch was a natural next step for MutualBank in expanding its northeast Indiana presence.

The bank subsidiary of MutualFirst Financial has full-service banking centers in the region in Elkhart, Kosciusko and Wabash counties, in addition to its other Indiana branch locations in Delaware, Grant, Randolph and St. Joseph counties.

It picked up a mortgage banking location at 8614 St. Joe Road in Fort Wayne last summer through the acquisition of Summit Mortgage and was doing mortgage business in the city under that name.

“By welcoming Summit’s staff to the MutualBank team, we hope to expand the offerings to Summit’s customers,” Pat Botts, MutualBank’s president and chief operating officer, said at the time. “Being backed by a financial institution gives Summit’s customers alternatives and possibilities beyond the current solutions.”

The branch – opened Oct. 20 in 3,000 square feet of space leased in a strip shopping center at 4916 Illinois Road, suite 106 – will provide a second location for the acquired 20-year-old mortgage business, said Jaime Faulkner, MutualBank’s marketing vice president.

“We’re just expanding their services, and it provided an opportune time for the bank to enter into the market,” Botts said. “The addition of Allen County just fills in the gap for our footprint.”

In addition to the high traffic and proximity to Aboite Township’s upscale neighborhoods, Faulkner said the location on one of Fort Wayne’s major east-west arteries will make it convenient for MutualBank customers who commute to work in Fort Wayne from Kosciusko County, where it has several branches.

The new location will employ seven, including a number of workers with Fort Wayne banking experience who do volunteer work in the community, she said.

In addition to consumer banking products, it will offer products designed to serve the business banking needs of companies of all sizes, and will provide access to a full team of commercial bankers, Faulkner said.

The branch plans to distinguish itself in the Fort Wayne area on the basis of customer service and commitment to the community, she said. “We want to walk with you and help you find those solutions that will help you live a better life.”

The bank is an Allpoint partner, and the affiliation provides MutualBank debit card holders with surcharge-free access to 55,000 automatic teller machines around the world.

The company has no plans at the moment to add a banking center to the Summit Mortgage location on St. Joe Road, “but we certainly look at being in the most opportune spaces for our customers in Allen County, so we’ll always be evaluating that,” Faulkner said. “The possibilities are endless.”

Chrystal Kreiger is serving as financial center manager for the new facility, and MutualBank scheduled a grand opening celebration with prizes and giveaways there during the week of Nov. 16.

MutualBank is based in Muncie and MutualFirst Financial has executive offices there. The parent company reported 2014 earnings of $10.8 million, or $1.46 per share. The company’s stock is traded on the NASDAQ National Market under the symbol “MFSF.”