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Welcome LEVEL ONE BANK - CEO LETTER

Welcome to the First Merchants Community

First Merchants CEO Mark Hardwick

A message from CEO Mark Hardwick

 

We are pleased to announce legal approval for the merger of First Merchants Bank and Level One Bank. This gives us the green light to start the process of joining our two banking communities together to offer best-in-class service to all customers. I am proud to welcome you all to First Merchants.

Change can bring uncertainty. However, you will continue to visit the same experienced local bankers. The only difference is that they’ll soon be supported by the strength of an award-winning bank.

Together, we will maintain the essential heart of a community bank while offering more robust services in a way that makes us preferred for how we operate. We are helpfully different in “how” we serve you with your needs being the key priority versus the typical service experience at big “super-regional banks” and national banks. Together, we’re not too small and we’re not too large: we’re just the right size to effectively deliver the services you need in a personal, individually tailored way.

Like Level One, First Merchants believes in uplifting local communities, providing personally effective relationships with customers, and taking care of our neighbors through our service philosophy – “Helping you prosper.” Personal service, long-term relationships, and community involvement will continue to be the foundations of how we serve you. When you enter your local banking center, you will still be greeted in a very welcoming and attentive way.

Our teams are focused on providing you with a great experience as Level One Bank takes on the First Merchants’ name and branding, keeping you updated on the latest transition news. This process is expected to be completed by the end of August. You will receive more information and communications via postal mail, website updates, and e-mail as the transition progresses. We encourage you to visit the First Merchants website for the most up-to-date information.

Since 1893, First Merchants has been focused on supporting the dreams and growth of families, businesses, and communities. We look forward to serving you, and we are proud to welcome you to First Merchants. We’re genuinely about helping you prosper.

Sincerely,

Mark K Hardwick Electronic Signature

 

 

 

Mark Hardwick
Chief Executive Officer, First Merchants Corporation

 

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FAQs

Why is First Merchants expanding in southern Michigan?
  • First Merchants already operates several banking centers in southern Michigan, and, through the merger with Level One Bank, will expand its footprint farther into this area. Together, our companies can offer a wider array of services, better access, and improved banking experience to the region. Both First Merchants and Level One leaders are confident that our planned partnership will benefit our customers, communities, and teammates. And we think that’s something worth talking about. 

Do I need to update direct deposits and automatic payments to avoid disruption?
  • No. You do not need to make any changes to your direct deposits or automatic payments, and there should be no disruption in these services.

Does First Merchants Bank operate under any other affiliate names?
Will Level One Bank signage change?
  • Yes. You will see Level One signage transition to First Merchants signage beginning in late summer 2022.

Is First Merchants Bank a ‘big bank?’
  • First Merchants Bank may be larger than Level One Bank, but it is not a “big bank.” The four largest banks in the U.S. have asset sizes ranging from $1.6 to $3.3 trillion, and the largest 100 banks in the U.S. have assets averaging $193 billion.

    In comparison, the combined assets of First Merchants and Level One only totals $17.6 billion, making your average Top 100 bank 10 times our size.

    So, while we’re not a big bank, we’re not small, either – in fact, we’re unique. First Merchants is large enough to offer the at-your-fingertips services you may expect from a larger bank while embodying the friendly, trusted nature a small community bank. That’s because we are a community bank.

    We emphasize building trusted relationships with our patrons, greeting our clients by name, and improving the financial wellbeing of our diverse communities. Whether you’re looking for a top-rated mobile banking app, enhanced commercial lending limits, access to comprehensive wealth management and private banking, or for a bank that prioritizes initiatives supporting under-invested communities and local causes, we’re the bank for you. That’s because, at First Merchants, we’re committed to making banking accessible for every member of the communities we serve through our service philosophy, “Helping you prosper.”

    We’re not too small, we’re not too large: we’re just right to deliver needed services in a personal, individually tailored way.

If I have deposit accounts at Level One Bank and First Merchants Bank with combined totals more than the FDIC insurance limit of $250,000, what is the FDIC insurance impact?
  • If you have deposit accounts at both banks, the FDIC will insure your funds for six months after the legal merger date – in this case, six months after April 1, 2022. This is to provide you time to restructure your accounts if necessary.

    Should you need further assistance, First Merchants also operates under the trade name First Merchants Private Wealth Advisors. We would be happy to assist you through this process and help you find the right solution for your hard-won earnings.

    If you have questions about your deposit insurance, please feel free to visit any Level One Bank location or call the FDIC directly at 1-877-ASK-FDIC.

When can I begin to use First Merchants Bank locations, products and services?
  • We will communicate the exact dates in the coming months; however, you can look forward to having access to First Merchants banking centers in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, including 16 in southeast Michigan, along with expanded product and service offerings, leading mobile apps and extended commercial lending limits later this summer.

Should I continue to use my Level One Bank checks, online banking, telephone banking, bill payment and debit/ATM cards?
  • Yes, for now! Level One Bank will go through a system conversion later this year. We will communicate further information and instructions to you ahead of time in preparation for this system conversion. Please watch your mailbox and inbox closely throughout the summer for more information and instructions.

How can I get the most current information about changes that may impact me?
  • We will contact clients directly as we identify changes which could impact individual accounts or access – so keep an eye on your mailbox and inbox!

    We will also post important information and answers to frequently asked questions on our website at firstmerchants.com/level-one-bank.

    Our goal is to make this process a seamless one, and to ensure that your banking experience remains as easy and worry-free as it is today. We look forward to working with you as we continue to build a strong financial future, together. 

Will my account numbers change?
  • No.  Be assured that unless you are contacted directly, your account number will remain the same and you will continue to access your account as you do today.

Should I continue to make loan payments to Level One Bank?
  • Yes. Your loan payment process will not change at this time. Please continue to make loan payments in the same manner as you do today.