Biz Buzz
By Jim Martin, Doug Oathout Erie Times-News staff bloggers
Welcome to Biz Buzz, our daily blog on all things business. Turn here for breaking news on the economy, local industry and area people engaged in the region's companies.   Read more about this blog.
 Phone: 814-870-1668
Posts tagged ‘bank’
Posted: December 10th, 2013

George Bailey, the Jimmy Stewart character in the 1946 classic “It’s a Wonderful Life” would have felt right at home at Erie’s Marquette Savings Bank.

That’s the conclusion of The Economist, one of the world’s oldest and most respected magazines with a publication of about 1.5 million.

An editor for the London-based publication held Marquette up as standard of small-town banking values in a recently published story.

The article compares Marquette favorably to the Jimmy Stewart character, a banker who devotes his life to the fictional town of Bedford Falls.

According to the article, “Most banks pay lip service to such goals, but fall laughably short.”

The Erie region, the magazine said, is “littered with grand but derelict banks that used to cater to them.”

Until recent intervention by regulators and policymakers, the magazine said, Marquette held on to the mortgages it originated “instead of selling them to government-sponsored entities as most banks did.”

According to The Economist, “Marquette’s survival … depended on the quality of its appraisals of borrowers and homes.”

Much of that information was gleaned firsthand from bank trustees who paid a personal visit to each loan applicant.

It was a formula for success and for modest foreclosure figures.

Since the beginning of the banking crisis, Marquette’s assets have doubled to $800 million and its profits have tripled to about $8 million.

Changing times have forced Marquette to sell its mortgages, but Chief Executive Michael Edwards said Marquette has worked hard to maintain what it calls the hometown touch.

“We are very pleased and flattered The Economist chose to visit and write about us,” he said. “We know our growth and success are due to the trust our customers have in us.”

— Jim Martin

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: March 1st, 2013

Low interest rates have some referring to mortgages and other loans as free money.

But one local bank is taking the concept a step further with a $25,000 sweepstakes contest. And this money doesn’t have to be paid back.

Warren-based Northwest Savings Bank is calling the contest the “$25,000 Cash for That Sweepstakes.”

The bank plans to draw a single winner from all entries on May 31 and award a check for $25,000 to the winner.

“Northwest Savings bank has been helping people buy and renovate homes since we were founded in 1896,” said Dottie Lobdell, the bank’s vice president of mortgage lending. “We feel that offering a chance to win $25,000 ‘cash for that’ is a great way to thank our customers, friends and neighbors for their support, and allowing one of our neighbors to use that cash to carry out a home makeover or use the cash for any valid purpose.”

No transaction is required. Entry forms are available at any Northwest location. One need not be a customer to enter.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: February 14th, 2013

William S. Demchak, a 1984 graduate of Allegheny College in Meadville, will become the first new chief executive of Pittsburgh-based PNC Financial Services in more than a generation.

Demchak, who joined PNC in 2002 as its chief financial officer, has served most recently as the company’s president.

James Rohr, who has been chairman and chief executive since 1990, is stepping down. Beginning April 23, he will serve as the company’s executive chairman.

Demchak, who also earned an MBA at the University of Michigan, was elected president of PNC in April 2012.

A board member and chairman of the Greater Pittsburgh Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Demchak is a member of the Financial Services Roundtable.

PNC, one of the nation’s largest banks, said in a statement that the board was acting on 64-year-old Rohr’s desire to retire.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: May 15th, 2012

Erie-based Marquette Savings Bank has been ranked among the nation’s top community banks.

Marquette has been named to the top 15th percentile in an annual ranking of community banks by Seifried & Brew.

Seifried & Brew ranks every community bank across the nation using an index that measures capital risk, credit risk, earnings at risk, liquidity risk, and national/regional economic risk. The S&B Risk/Return Composite Index balances each community bank’s risk ranking with their return on assets and return on equity.

Marquette, which was named to the list for the second year in a row, operates 12 offices in Erie and Crawford counties.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: May 3rd, 2012

A bank that serves Erie and Crawford counties has been honored by J.D. Power and Associates with its top ranking for customer service in the Mid-Atlantic Region.

For the third year in a row, that honor went to Warren-based Northwest Savings Bank.

Ohio-based Huntington Bank, which also serves this area, ranked second in customer service in the region, which includes Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

“Earning our third consecutive award from J.D. Power and Associates for being highest ranked in our six-state region is an amazing honor,” said Steven Fisher, executive vice president of Northwest. “It is both humbling and exhilarating. This award comes from the people we serve, the people who are the reason our company exists.”

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: May 5th, 2010

Northwest Bancshares Inc., holding company for Warren-based Northwest Savings Bank, has announced plans to purchase Butler-based NexTier Inc. and NexTier Bank.
Under the terms of the agreement, shareholders of NexTier will receive $200 in cash for each outstanding share of common stock for a net payment of about $20.3 million.
NexTier, which was founded in 1878, has assets of $583.7 million and shareholders’ equity of $23 million. NexTier operates 16 bank branches in Butler, Allegheny and Armstrong counties.
Northwest, which has assets of $8 billion, operates 171 branches in Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland, Ohio and Florida.
The transaction is expected to be complete in the fourth quarter of 2010, subject to the approval of shareholders and regulatory authorities.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: March 1st, 2010

Thousands of employees of PNC Financial Services Group Inc., including employees at 24 branches in Erie and Crawford counties, are expected to collect $1,000 bonuses later this month.
According to a report in the Pittsburgh Business-Times, full bonuses would be paid to all employees making less than $100,000 who were with the company as of Dec. 1, 2009. Part-time employees were expected to receive bonuses of $500.
The company’s chairman, James Rohr, said in a memo that he wanted to reward employees for their efforts over the past year.
His memo, a copy of which was obtained by the Pittsburgh business weekly, said in part, “In 2009, we earned $2.4 billion, our second-highest net income total ever. You — our 56,000 employees — made these and other special achievements possible … and we believe that deserves special recognition.”
A spokesman for the Pittsburgh-based company declined additional comment.

Tags: , ,
Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: August 27th, 2009

PNC Financial Services Group has opened a new bank branch in the main floor of the Hamot office building at 100 Peach St. The branch replaces the drive-through lanes that were previously located at 204 Peach St.
The bank lobby is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. And from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday. Drive-through lanes will be open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
“Our new branch is an investment by PNC in serving our diverse downtown clientele, including a large base of professionals who work in the city,” said Christina Bernatowicz, regional manager for PNC.

Tags: ,
Posted in: Uncategorized