Mercantile Eyes Holland Market

April 17, 2003
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HOLLAND — Raising the stakes for community-banking supremacy in West Michigan, Mercantile Bank Corp. plans to enter the Holland market this year.

The Wyoming-based Mercantile Bank will open a mortgage lending office in Holland during the second quarter and eventually replace it with a full-service bank branch.

“We are excited about the growth potential our new Holland presence will provide. We believe Holland is an attractive market, receptive to Mercantile’s relationship-focused banking strategy,” Mercantile Bank President and Chief Operating Officer Michael Price said.

The move puts Mercantile into a new market where the top names in the banking industry have all changed in the past half-decade, as well as in direct competition on the home turf of Macatawa Bank Corp., which shares a similar background and banking philosophy.

Both banks have grown rapidly since their founding in the late 1990s and have carved out strong positions in the respective core markets.

Mercantile Bank, with assets as of March 31 of $967.7 million and an $801 million lending portfolio that consists mainly of commercial loans, has four branch offices in Kent County and plans to open a fifth next month at Knapp’s Corner on East Beltline Avenue in Grand Rapids.

The company this week reported net income for the first quarter of $2.2 million, up 39 percent from the same period a year earlier.               

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