FirstMerit Corporation

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FirstMerit Corporation
Public company
Financial Services
Headquarters106 King James Way, Akron, Ohio, United States
Number of locations
Area served
Western Pennsylvania
Northern Illinois
Key people
Paul G. Greig
(Chairman & CEO)
ProductsRetail Banking
Commercial bank
Private Banking
Mortgage loan
Credit Card
RevenueIncrease US$ 1.1 billion (FY 2014) [3]
Increase US$ 237 million (FY 2014)[3]
Total assetsIncrease US$ 24.9 billion (FY 2014)[3]
Total equityIncrease US$ 2.8 billion (FY 2014)[3]
Number of employees
4,619 (FTE)

FirstMerit Corporation was a diversified financial services company headquartered in Akron, Ohio, with assets of approximately $26.2 billion as of June 30, 2016, and 359 banking offices and 400 ATM locations in Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois and Pennsylvania. FirstMerit provided a range of banking and other financial services to consumers and businesses. Principal affiliates included: FirstMerit Bank, N.A., and FirstMerit Mortgage Corporation. It was acquired by Huntington Bancshares in August 2016.[1]


FirstMerit predecessors go back as far as 1845. In 1981, First National Bank of Ohio and Old Phoenix National Bank of Medina merged into First Bancorporation of Ohio (First Ohio). The next year, First Ohio purchased Twinsburg Banking Company. In 1985, Exchange Bank in Canal Fulton in Stark County, Ohio was acquired by First Ohio. The Bank continued expansion in Ohio buying bank branches in many Ohio counties for the following nine years.[2]

Following the 1995 purchase of CIVISTA Corporation in Canton, Ohio, parent of Citizens Savings, the holding company name changed from First Bancorporation to FirstMerit Corporation. FirstMerit added to its portfolio in 1997 Abell & Associates, a life insurance and financial consulting firm. Expansion of the corporation continued in Ohio and Lawrence County, Pennsylvania with the purchase of 32 more branches.[2]

FirstMerit made two deals in 2009 with St. Louis-based First Bank and its affiliate for 24 Chicago-area branches with $1.2 billion in deposits and for the affiliates' asset-based loans. In 2010, the acquired First Banks are either closed or converted into FirstMerit branches. Expansion into Chicago continued that year with the acquisition of George Washington Savings Bank and Midwest Bank and Trust, both failed banks.[2]

On September 13, 2012, it was announced that FirstMerit would acquire Citizens Republic Bancorp in a stock-for-stock transaction valued at approximately $912 million. The acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter of 2013.[4] With the stock payment worth less than the stock's tangible book value, several law firms started looking into a possible case of breached fiduciary duties by Citizens Republic Board of Directors.[5]

Sandy Pierce was appointed in January 2013 as FirstMerit's vice chair and chairman and CEO of FirstMerit Michigan. In early April, both Bank Corporations' shareholders approved the merger.[6] On April 12, 2013, FirstMerit Corporation closed the acquisition of company which will operate as of April 13 as "Citizens Bank, now part of FirstMerit Bank."[7] The banks owned by Citizens Republic Bancorp were officially renamed FirstMerit Bank on June 13, 2013.[8] On November 2013, the landmark Citizens Bank weather ball on top of the former Citizens Republic Bancorp headquarters in Flint, Michigan was refaced with the letters C B replaced with F M.[9]

Class-action lawsuit alleging FirstMerit unfairly charged some customers overdraft fees settled for $15.9 million.

Huntington acquisition[edit]

On January 26, 2016, Huntington Bank announced it would purchase FirstMerit, subject to regulatory approval, in a deal that would make Huntington the largest bank in Ohio.[10] Huntington completed the acquisition of FirstMerit on August 16. Due to anti-trust concerns by the Justice Department, 11 branches in Canton and two in Ashtabula are being sold to First Commonwealth Bank.[11] Additionally 107 branches located within 2.5 miles of other Huntington / FirstMerit branches will be closed.[12] All remaining FirstMerit branches and accounts are expected to be converted to Huntington in early 2017.[1]


See FirstMerit Tower for more information.
The FirstMerit Tower from the ground in Akron, Ohio

FirstMerit, founded in 1845, is currently headquartered in Akron, Ohio at the FirstMerit Tower. The building, built in 1931, is the tallest in Akron with 27 floors.[citation needed]


  • FirstMerit Bank, N.A.
  • FirstMerit Mortgage Corporation
  • FirstMerit Community Development Corporation[13]


  1. ^ a b c Mark, Williams (2016-08-16), "Huntington closes FirstMerit deal", The Columbus Dispatch, Columbus, Ohio: GateHouse Media, retrieved 2016-08-21
  2. ^ a b c d e Byron, Shaun (September 13, 2012). "Citizens Republic buyer FirstMerit has three decades of expansion, bank acquisitions in Midwest". Retrieved 17 September 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d "Form 10K FY2014" (PDF). SNL Financial. Retrieved May 9, 2015.
  4. ^ Allen, Jeremy (September 13, 2012). "Flint-based Citizen Republic Bancorp Inc. sold to Akron, Ohio-based FirstMerit Corp". The Flint Journal. Retrieved 14 September 2012.
  5. ^ Byron, Shaun (September 19, 2012). "Multiple law firms launch investigations against Citizens Republic Bancorp following sale to FirstMerit Corp". The Flint Journal. Retrieved 19 September 2012.
  6. ^ Allen, Jeremy (April 12, 2013). "Getting to know FirstMerit Corporation: A history of the Citizens Bank buyer". The Flint Journal. Retrieved 13 April 2013.
  7. ^ Allen, Jeremy (April 12, 2013). "FirstMerit, Citizens Bank deal closes; branches open April 13 under 'Citizens Bank, now part of FirstMerit Bank' name". The Flint Journal. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
  8. ^ Allen, Jeremy (June 12, 2013). "First look at new Flint Weather Ball: Follow live blog as icon redesign revealed". The Flint Journal. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
  9. ^ Allen, Jeremy (November 21, 2013). "Watch as two women with strong ties to Flint's weather ball take part in history". The Flint Journal. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
  10. ^ Lin-Fisher, Betty (25 January 2016). "Huntington to acquire Akron-based FirstMerit". Akron Beacon Journal.
  11. ^ Nobile, Jeremy (2016-07-27), "First Commonwealth Bank to acquire 13 branches divested in Huntington, FirstMerit merger", Crain's Cleveland Business, Cleveland, Ohio: Crain Communications, retrieved 2016-08-21
  12. ^ Mark, Williams (2016-03-11), "Huntington to close 107 offices as part of FirstMerit acquisition", The Columbus Dispatch, Columbus, Ohio: GateHouse Media, retrieved 2016-08-21
  13. ^ "Corporate Profile: About FirstMerit". FirstMerit Investor Relations. FirstMerit. Retrieved 17 September 2012.

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