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Merrillville-based bank targets Carmel

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Centier Bank, a Merrillville-based financial firm with 45 branches in northwest Indiana, has opened a business banking office in Carmel and is considering future expansion in the Indianapolis-area market.

The office, at 11611 N. Meridian St., will be open daily and concentrate on commercial lending, the company announced Monday.

Centier, a 116-year-old bank in its fourth generation of family ownership, also has non-retail loan-production offices in Fort Wayne and Mishawaka. Last year, it converted a business-loan office in West Lafayette into a full-service retail bank branch.

“We had great success with our Lafayette business banking office,” Centier Bank President and CEO Mike Schrage said in a prepared statement. “With the success that we’ve seen in that market, we expect to see more business banking-to-retail office conversions in the bank’s future. Our vision is to have a retail branch in Carmel someday soon.”
    
The Carmel branch will be staffed by three banking executives: vices presidents Patrick Raftery and Jeff Olds, and credit analyst Dirk Kelly.

Centier has more than 650 employees in 22 communities and $2.1 billion in assets.

The bank will face competition in Hamilton County. Twenty-one banks—from large outfits to community institutions—have branches in the county. Since 2007, at least five new banks have joined the market, boosting the number of branches in the county to more than 115.

The draw, experts say, is obvious. The county is fast-growing, with a population that ballooned from 182,740 in 2000 to 274,569 in 2010. And people who live there have money to invest; the median household income was $85,234 in 2008, according to Census American Community Survey.
 

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