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MUNCIE, Ind., June 13, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- First Merchants Bank (FMB) and the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana (FHCCI) today announced several new initiatives designed to increase mortgage lending to residents in Marion County’s majority-black neighborhoods and census tracts.
First Merchants CEO Michael C. Rechin touted the bank’s partnership with the FHCCI as an important step for the company’s future success in Indiana’s most populous county.
“We were eager to take on new challenges to achieve excellence in a large metropolitan market through our acquisition growth strategy. Our efforts began with entry into Marion County in 2016 and have since expanded with added resources and strategic partnerships,” said Rechin. “We are pleased that our results in Marion County are building consistently, with current lending application volume in 2019 nearly three times full-year 2018 figures. Our new partnership with the FHCCI is an exciting opportunity to accelerate both connectivity within Marion County and existing company efforts to offer new and innovative loan products to the county’s diverse population.”
“The initiatives announced today will facilitate desperately needed mortgage lending and consumer education opportunities for residents in majority-minority communities in Marion County,” said FHCCI Executive Director Amy Nelson. “More importantly, the FHCCI and First Merchants have created a roadmap for other financial institutions that are seeking to expand access to credit in underserved areas and ensure that every individual, group, and community enjoys equal housing opportunity and access in a bias-free and open housing market,” continued Nelson.
First Merchant’s initiatives are reflected in an agreement with the FHCCI and will be implemented over three years, to include:
Building on Existing Community Development Efforts
The new initiatives announced today will build on efforts already undertaken by First Merchants Bank to positively impact community development and expanded access to credit, including:
“Our team is committed to Marion County, and we feel extremely fortunate to partner with an organization like the FHCCI,” said Rechin. “Their value is immeasurable as we seek long-term connectivity to the many communities in and around Indianapolis.”
“The mission of the FHCCI is to ensure equal housing opportunities by eliminating housing discrimination through advocacy, enforcement, education and outreach.” said Nelson, “However, we need more banks assisting the FHCCI in accomplishing this mission and in providing fair and equal access to credit. We hope today’s announcement will encourage other Indiana financial institutions to follow FMB’s lead and launch their own initiatives to promote homeownership and address the need to expand fair and non-discriminatory access to credit.”
The initiatives launched today reflect resolution of allegations of lending concerns raised by the FHCCI. FMB denies any fault as part of the resolution.
About First Merchants Corporation
First Merchants Corporation is a financial holding company headquartered in Muncie, Indiana. The Corporation has one full-service bank charter, First Merchants Bank. The Bank also operates as First Merchants Private Wealth Advisors (as a division of First Merchants Bank). First Merchants Corporation’s common stock is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market System under the symbol FRME. Quotations are carried in daily newspapers and can be found on the company’s website, firstmerchants.com. First Merchants and the Shield Logo are federally registered trademarks of First Merchants Corporation.
About the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana
The Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana (FHCCI) is a private, nonprofit fair housing organization founded in 2011 and based in Indianapolis, Indiana. Its mission is to ensure equal housing opportunities by eliminating housing discrimination through advocacy, enforcement, education and outreach. More information on the FHCCI can be found on the Center’s website, www.fhcci.org.
|Contact:||Amy Nelson, Executive Director||Karen Evens, Marketing Director|
|Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana||First Merchants Bank|
|Phone: 317-644-0673 x1001||Phone: 765-747-1477|
|Email: email@example.com||Email: firstname.lastname@example.org|