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ELEVATING COMMUNITIES

At First Merchants Bank, we work to enhance the financial wellness of the diverse communities we serve.

Everyone wants to change the world. After 130 years as a community bank, we know the best way to create real and lasting impact is to start locally. But when it comes to making a difference, local doesn’t mean small.

We’re changing the world by helping our communities prosper in the ways that only we can—neighbors helping neighbors—to foster unity, grow our impact, and inspire others.

As we’ve grown to serve across the Midwest, we have supported our communities in new and meaningful ways.

Our focus is to stay true to the people-first, attentive, local mindset on which we were founded.


"For our neighbors, supporting local businesses, helping our communities prosper economically and beyond – this is why we do what we do. First Merchants is a part of our communities as much as they are a part of us. Listening and taking meaningful action are ways we help build a better tomorrow."

MARK HARDWICK
Chief Executive Officer

First Merchants Bank Elevating Communities Mark Hardwick Quote




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Employee Empowerment


Our employees are bankers. But more than that, they are fundraisers, community leaders, and dreamers. At First Merchants Bank, we believe in empowering our employees to pursue their passions, because we know that passionate people make a positive difference. We support our team members’ volunteer efforts and offer comprehensive professional development opportunities to help them grow.

Supporting Our Communities During the Holidays and All Year Long


2022 Volunteer Impact


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Financial Wellness
Session Hours


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Philanthropy & Community Investment


Giving to our communities and seeing them thrive is the best return on investment we can achieve. Our organization provides significant, ongoing financial support to community partners dedicated to making a positive impact for those in need. Through contributions and grants, we support philanthropic causes with a focus on financial and economic inclusion, affordable housing, economic development, neighborhood redevelopment, and workforce training.

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“We are a community bank through and through,” said First Merchants President Mike Stewart. “This location sets us up to be more than a bank but a partner. Our commitment is to make banking accessible to all, especially to people who do not have banking relationships and access to sound financial guidance.”

MIKE STEWART
President

First Merchants Bank Elevating Communities Mike Stewart Quote


Financial Wellness


Financial education and advice are the first steps towards increasing financial wellness, homeownership, and economic prosperity across our communities. First Merchants Financial Wellness offers programs, resources, online tools, and accessible solutions to empower individuals, businesses, and community groups achieve their financial goals. The First Merchants Financial Wellness Program was designed to meet people no matter where they are on their unique financial wellness path.

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Community Lending: Home and Business


Community Lending is a key focus area for us and a space where we created significant impact in 2022. We focus our community lending in two key spaces, home and business.

Graphic of Mowtivation Lawn Service LogoHomeownership is one of the most important steps in creating stability for a family. Yet, the accessibility and achievability for home ownership, for many, seem daunting, even impossible. Not with First Merchants Bank.

Through intentional conversations and bankers who pay attention, we’ve recognized there are businesses who many times are owned by a minority individual and who has historically been underserved by the banking community. Established in 2022, our Community Business Lending team works exclusively with entrepreneurs across our diverse communities. Simply put, our Community Business Lenders passionately and proactively seek to provide small businesses with access to capital.

Read Mowtivation Lawn Service's story


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion


At the core of enabling employees and serving communities is Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.

Why is DE&I important to us? We want to be a place where everyone is welcome and belongs. This is a company where our differences are valued and celebrated. As part of our journey, we acknowledge that listening and learning are pivotal for equity. We must come together as a diverse group for this to happen effectively, and we are called upon to create this safe space.

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Enhancing Our Impact

We celebrate the impact we’ve made throughout 2022 and in the communities we serve.

Our collection of diverse colleagues share a passion for positively impacting lives and enables us to fulfill our mission to be the most attentive, knowledgeable, and high-performing bank for our clients, teammates, and shareholders.

As you read through this report, we hope you found our commitment to the communities we serve substantial, providing lasting impact.

We cannot accomplish what we do without the support of our clients, community partners, and employees.

In a time when stability and confidence in the banking sector has come into question, we remain attentive to our communities and client needs. Our commitments are building on our company history of philanthropy designed to create a brighter future for all.

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Download Our First Merchants Elevating Communities 2022 Brochure

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In communities big and small in Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, and now Michigan, First Merchants gives individuals and business owners the financial tools they need to grow and thrive. We are here to help you. Your success is First Merchants’ success. First Merchants Bank Elevating Communities Footprint MapWhile what we offer may be products and transactions, and while these traditional banking products certainly assist each community, our mission goes beyond the transactional.

In each of our regions, we give our time and finances in efforts to reinvest in our neighborhoods and improve financial outcomes. Just like when we started in 1893, we don’t wait for solutions. Working together, we create them.