October 27, 2016
By Ed Byrne The Brillion News
HILBERT – The FirstMerit Bank branch in Hilbert, at 69 South Eighth Street, will be closing up shop on February 17.
“They started calling customers in advance of them receiving written notification,” said Brent Wilder, corporate public relations director for the Huntington National Bank, which bought FirstMerit this summer. “The [written] letter notification [to customers] is still pending, but a couple of weeks ago, the branch staff started reaching out to customers who bank at the location to let them know that it is scheduled to close in February.”
Wilder said the bank plans to transfer customers’ accounts to FirstMerit’s current Kaukauna branch at 205 Fourth Street Plaza, at Crooks Street (State 55) and Fourth Street.
The news was delivered on Monday evening at the meeting of the Hilbert Board of Education.
School district Business Manager Jason Grenzer said he was contacted last week by a representative of the bank and informed of the bank closing.
FirstMerit is the only bank in the village of 1,100 people.
FirstMerit was acquired by Huntington Bancshares Inc. of Columbus, Ohio, in August. Huntington paid $3.4 billion to buy FirstMerit.
Together, the merged banks have about $100 billion in assets. The merged bank will use the Huntington National Bank name.
In a letter to FirstMerit customers on August 24, Huntington Executive Vice President Jim Brocklehurst said the merger would result in one bank system with nearly 1,000 branches in eight states in the Midwest.
However, Huntington Bank also announced, back in March, that it would close more than 100 branch banks if the merger took place. The majority of the branches to be closed are in Ohio and Michigan, but some of the branches slated for closure were said to be in Wisconsin. Most slated for closing were expected to be FirstMerit branches, not Huntington branches.
The Village of Hilbert heard that there was a potential for the bank closing once the merger was proposed, but didn’t get the official word until earlier in October.
Please see the complete story in the October 27, 2016 edition of The Brillion News.