Merger Mania: Huntington, TCF merger leads M&As in area banking market

There have been a few changes shaking the Grand Traverse area banking scene this year, but none bigger than Huntington Bancshares Inc.’s blockbuster merger with TCF Financial Corp.

Columbus-based Huntington has had a strong presence locally, but its recent merger with TCF has vaulted it to the top position in Grand Traverse County.

Huntington had $1.5 billion in Grand Traverse County deposits at the end of June, more than double that of perennial market leader Fifth Third Bank with $734 million, according to the FDIC.

Columbus-based Huntington completed its $22 billion, all-stock merger with TCF in June. Prior to the merger, TCF had more deposits in the county than Huntington.


“It puts us in a pretty good spot,” said Scot Zimmerman, president of Huntington’s northern Michigan region. “I think with Huntington’s size and combined market share (with the former TCF), it gives us the opportunity to go back to business and do a good job of taking care of our customers.”

Huntington has 10 branch offices in Grand Traverse County, including six former TCF branches. As a result of the merger, Huntington closed 97 Meijer store branches, including the Traverse City store.

Prior to the merger, Huntington and TCF had 431 branches in Michigan, but more than 100 were closed or sold because many of the two banks’ offices overlapped. Huntington now has 307 branches in Michigan, including 45 in northern Michigan.

Zimmerman is a veteran local banker who had led regional operations at TCF prior to the merger and at Chemical Bank before its 2019 merger with TCF.

Another Traverse City bank office was swept up in merger-and-acquisition activity, which has accelerated throughout the country during the lingering COVID pandemic.

West Shore Bank broke ground last year on a full-service banking center at the corner of Boardman and Eighth and will begin occupying the building in phases this fall.

Green Bay, Wisconsin-based Nicolet Bankshares Inc. announced in April it was acquiring Manistique, Michigan-based Mackinac Financial Corp., the parent company of mBank, in a combination stock-and-cash deal valued at $248 million.

One of the smaller banks in the area, mBank had two offices in Traverse City. Nicolet has 20 other Michigan offices, mostly in the Upper Peninsula and northern lower Michigan.

While not announcing any immediate changes, Nicolet National Bank CEO Mike Daniels said his bank is adapting to changes in consumer banking and intends to maintain strong local control.

“Our customers continue to tell and show us that convenience no longer means a branch on every corner,” he said, adding that “people will see a strong community bank focused on keeping decisions local.”

Analysts say this could be the biggest year for bank mergers, especially among midsize banks, since the financial crisis of the late 2000s. S&P Global Market Intelligence predicts $63.3 billion in bank mergers this year, up from $27.8 billion in 2020 and $55 billion in 2019.

Several other Grand Traverse area banks and credit unions have seen upper management changes as well as brick and mortar expansions this year.


Daniel Baker is the new senior vice president of lending at 4Front Credit Union, replacing former head of lending, Heather Carey, who recently left the credit union. Baker, a former 4Front vice president of lending, was most recently the chief financial officer of Forest Area Credit Union in Fife Lake.

Carey’s husband Keith, who was senior vice president of marketing at 4Front, also left the credit union and was replaced in September by Rachel Hunter, who came to 4Front from Desert Financial Credit Union in Phoenix, Arizona.

And 4Front moved into its $15.5 million, 73,000 square-foot administrative center at 305 West Front St. in downtown Traverse City in February.

At Independent Bank, David Boeve in April was named senior vice president and loan group manager, serving as the bank’s top local executive. Boeve, who came to Independent Bank from TCF, replaced Tom Ranville, who retired.


Ludington-based West Shore Bank, which broke ground last year on a 40,000 square-foot, full-service banking center at the corner of Boardman Avenue and Eighth Street, will begin occupying the building in phases this fall, said Donna Yager, West Shore’s vice president of marketing.

The bank, which entered the Traverse City market in 2017, currently has 27 employees working from its Front Street office, she said.

“We continue to grow our local team and recently added local seasoned professionals in our retail, mortgage and wealth management departments,” Yager said.

Michigan State University Federal Credit Union opened its second Traverse City branch in July, drawing $2 million in deposit accounts in the first 10 days of operation, said MSUFCU president and CEO April Clobes.

The branch is located at 3750 N. U.S. 31 South. The credit union’s first Traverse City branch, located at 312 S. Union St., opened in July 2020. At the time, the credit union said it had nearly 2,500 members, many of them former MSU students and retirees, living in the area.

Frankfort-based State Savings Bank is celebrating its 120th anniversary this year. The bank operated only in Benzie County throughout much of its history, but has opened offices in Traverse City, Suttons Bay and Gaylord in recent years.

Spokesman Doug Zernow said the bank continues to “look at opportunities for new brick and mortar locations to provide more convenience for our customers.”