ChoiceOne Financial Services, Inc. and Community Shores Bank Corporation Complete Merger

SPARTA, MUSKEGON, Mich., – ChoiceOne Financial Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: COFS) (“ChoiceOne”) announced the completion of the merger of Community Shores Bank Corporation (“Community Shores”) with and into ChoiceOne, effective as of July 1, 2020. The combined organization is the 12th largest bank holding company in Michigan based on asset size, with approximately $1.7 billion in assets and 33 offices across Michigan.
At the effective time of the merger, each share of Community Shores common stock was converted into the right to receive certain merger consideration as follows: (i) each share for which a cash election was made was converted into the right to receive an amount of cash equal to $5.00, and (ii) each share for which a stock election was made or for which no election was made was converted into the right to receive 0.17162 shares of ChoiceOne common stock. In the aggregate, 26.1% of the shares of Community Shores common stock outstanding as of the effective time of the merger were converted into the right to receive cash and 73.9% were converted into the right to receive ChoiceOne common stock. The aggregate value of the merger consideration, based on the closing price of ChoiceOne common stock on June 30, 2020 of $29.56, is $20.88 million.

“We are excited to welcome Community Shores into our ChoiceOne family,” said ChoiceOne Chief Executive Officer Kelly Potes. “Our acquisition of Community Shores is a natural geographical and cultural fit for ChoiceOne and allows us to expand our community bank franchise further into West Michigan. Our combined company offers greater capacity and diversity for commercial and consumer lending as well as leading advancements in technology. We believe ChoiceOne offers substantial opportunity for our collective communities, customers, and employees while adding significant value for our shareholders. ChoiceOne will offer small businesses and consumers in West and Southeast Michigan an extensive line of products and services delivered through an enhanced retail network including online, mobile and branch banking.”

Heather Brolick, President and CEO of Community Shores Bank Corporation commented, “We are sincerely appreciative of the support of our board of directors, shareholders, and clients over the past 22 years. We look forward to our partnership with ChoiceOne in providing enhanced value and services to our combined customers.”

The combined organization will be headquartered in Sparta, Michigan. ChoiceOne Bank and Community Shores Bank are expected to be consolidated in the fourth quarter of this year and the consolidated bank will operate under the ChoiceOne name.

Compliance Systems LLC and ASC Form Partnership for Commercial Documents

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., — Compliance Systems LLC has partnered with Associated Software Consultants, Inc. (ASC), a leading provider of flexible lending solutions, to provide a dynamic commercial document solution to lenders using ASC’s PowerLender® Loan Origination System (LOS).
The partnership leverages the integrated dynamic document solution provided by Compliance Systems with PowerLender’s origination capabilities for commercial loans to enable compliance across all lending channels. The Compliance Systems integration with PowerLender allows lenders to streamline workflow, reduce errors, eliminate redundancies, and speed the lending process while lowering overall loan costs.
Configurability is key to meeting industry demands for digital lending solutions and streamlining processes to reduce friction for commercial lending. PowerLender reflects ASC’s commitment to helping its clients respond to current business needs while retaining the flexibility to adapt to evolving demands.

“ASC is a natural fit for Compliance Systems, both from an organizational perspective and technology perspective. Their personal relationships with their clients align with our service philosophy. And the versatility of PowerLender makes it a logical choice for our commercial compliance solution, which puts control and configurability in the hands of our clients, “said Ronny Chapman, President of Compliance Systems.

“We are excited to partner with Compliance Systems to offer compliance to our commercial lenders,” said David Stricklen, VP of Lending Technology at ASC. “Our clients will see the immediate benefits of PowerLender’s integration with Compliance Systems through faster loans and overall lower costs all under the umbrella of compliance.”

Bankers’ Bank Announces To Partnership To Provide Community Banks Leading-Edge Digital And Merchant Solutions

Bankers’ Bank announces a new partnership with Approval Payment Solutions (APS) to provide customers digital and merchant services solutions.

MADISON, Wis., — Merchant processing or credit card acceptance can be a deciding factor in what separates a struggling business from a successful one. Community banks are in a valuable position because of their close relationships to their commercial customers, as well as an interest in those businesses being as prosperous as possible. Whether it’s opening up a brick-and-mortar to include online shopping, allowing municipalities to accept cost-neutral credit card payments, or safeguarding customer information with in-house Payment Card Industry (PCI) security standards, a partnership with a reliable merchant processing provider solidifies community merchants to their bank.

Through this new partnership, community banks will have access to a best-in-class merchant program that provides them:

  • Greater income potential with revenue shares 2-3 times what most other providers offer
  • Opportunities to maintain and deepen commercial customer relationships
  • In market representatives to work with the bank’s customers and offer product expertise on their behalf
  • Products to fit almost any business type, including those historically not supported by other providers, such as municipalities, non-profits, and business-to-business
  • Access to a full suite of digital marketing services to assist community business make the most of their market

“We are extremely excited about this relationship,” expressed David Gremillion, Vice President, BankCards at Banker’s Bank. “APS’ commitment to cutting-edge digital and merchant products, as well as outstanding service provides a real and tangible benefit to our community bank partners of any size.”

Approval Payment Solutions offers a complete menu of electronic payment solutions to businesses of every size and type. They are a full service provider, offering an all-inclusive solution for the payment processing needs of any business.

“This announcement signifies an important step in driving strategic priorities forward for APS,” said R. Allan Noe, President and CEO of APS. “Our industry and banking products are in transition. This solidifies and extends APS’ vision of helping our clients – and partners.”

FFBW, Inc. and First Federal Bank of Wisconsin Announce Definitive Agreement to Acquire Mitchell Bank

BROOKFIELD, Wis., — FFBW, Inc. (the “Company”) (Nasdaq: FFBW), the holding company for First Federal Bank of Wisconsin (the “Bank”), announced that the Bank has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase for cash substantially all of the assets and assume substantially all of the liabilities of Mitchell Bank, a Wisconsin-chartered commercial bank headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Bank has agreed to assume approximately $44.0 million in customer deposits and purchase approximately $17.0 million in loans of Mitchell Bank.

Edward H. Schaefer, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company and the Bank, commented, “This acquisition provides a great opportunity for First Federal to expand further into the Milwaukee market near our Bay View branch. The acquisition will also provide us with core deposits to fund our continued growth. Our intention is to grow our franchise through organic growth and, if opportunities arise, acquisitions. We believe that the acquisition of Mitchell Bank is a nice first step in the execution of our business objectives.”

Subject to customary closing conditions, including the receipt of all necessary regulatory approvals, the acquisition is expected to be completed during the fourth quarter of 2020.

Luse Gorman, PC provided legal counsel to FFBW, Inc. and First Federal Bank of Wisconsin. Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c. provided legal counsel to Mitchell Bank.

M&T Bank Announces Relationship with LPL Financial to Offer Its Retail Brokerage and Advisory Business

With $20bn in AUM and approximately 170 advisors, M&T will be the largest financial institution to join the LPL Financial platform

BUFFALO, N.Y., — M&T Bank Corporation (NYSE: MTB) announced that it has chosen LPL Financial (Nasdaq: LPLA), a leading retail investment advisory firm, independent broker-dealer, and registered investment advisor (RIA) custodian, to support the bank’s retail brokerage and advisory business. M&T provides consumer and commercial services to clients in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, and currently provides a wide range of brokerage, advisory, and insurance solutions through its subsidiary, M&T Securities, Inc. The business is expected to transition to the LPL platform in the middle of 2021 and will operate under a new brand name.

“We are committed to providing the best service and financial guidance to our clients, as well as supporting growth opportunities for our advisors,” said Matt McAfee, senior vice president, head of Affluent Wealth Markets. “Today, this requires ongoing investments in technology and infrastructure, alongside financial planning and investment solutions to help clients meet their long-term financial goals. After considerable consultation and assessment with clients, we decided that a long-term strategic partnership with a firm that has complementary capabilities to enhance our offerings was the best approach for our clients. LPL is able to offer superior technology at the scale and pace that will help us differentiate our services and deepen our relationships with clients.”

This year, LPL has committed $160mn to investments in technology, and the firm has grown its investment year over year. Clients will benefit from access to innovative investment solutions and an enhanced digital service experience. LPL’s comprehensive support to institutional clients also includes a high-touch service experience and consultative support. Advisors and staff will have access to LPL’s award-winning technology platform, offering integrated workflows and customizable capabilities to help increase efficiency, provide a better user experience, and, ultimately, afford advisors more time to focus on client relationships.

“We are excited to welcome M&T to LPL’s network of institutional clients,” said Rich Steinmeier, LPL Financial managing director and divisional president, Business Development. “Our core business is serving institutions and financial advisors with a leading platform that enables them to be successful in their communities. That focus, combined with our scale, differentiates our support by being able to invest and innovate in ways that bring meaningful value to our clients.”

LPL will provide an enhanced advisor and client experience through their front-end systems, inclusive of upgraded financial planning tools, eDelivery and eSign capabilities for most account documents, and easy-to-access statements and performance reports.

With the plan to align with LPL to support its retail brokerage and advisory business, M&T Securities, Inc. will continue to exist as an institutional broker-dealer under M&T Bank.