Magazine sees 1st Farmers as among top 200 out of 7,500

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

COLUMBIA -- First Farmers & Merchants Bank has been named one of the top 200 community banks in the United States, according to US Banker magazine.

The designation places the Middle Tennessee bank, with offices in Lewisburg and Chapel Hill, in the top three percent of all community banks in the United States, according to the magazine.

The ranking is based on a three-year average return on equity. First Farmers was therefore recognized as among the most profitable of 7,500 community banking institutions. Only five banks in the state of Tennessee made the 2011 list.

"We're honored by this distinction," said T. Randy Stevens, chairman and CEO, First Farmers Bank. "This recognition reaffirms that our focus on helping customers keep their hard-earned money safe and secure is a smart approach to banking.

"Additionally, it tells me that our long-standing commitment to giving individuals and businesses the financial advice, products and services they need to build stronger lives, profitable businesses and better communities is the right thing to do for both our customers and us," Stevens said. "It also underscores that our board, managers and employees are doing a great job positively impacting the lives of many Middle Tennesseans."

The annual list was released in the June 2011 issue of US Banker, a monthly publication that provides news and information about the banking industry for leaders at financial institutions across the nation.

Founded in 1909, First Farmers & Merchants Bank has assets totaling $942 million and an additional $3 billion in assets held by its Trust & Financial Management Department.

Headquartered in Columbia, Tenn., the bank operates 18 offices in a seven-county area including Marshall, Maury, Lawrence, Hickman, Giles, Dickson and Williamson counties.

The bank claims almost 20 percent of all deposits in six of those seven counties.