BLUFFTON — The sign outside may have changed a few times in the last century, but Citizens National Bank is still flourishing on its Day 1 focus: Providing commercial and agricultural banking and developing strong community relationships.
“I think we’re kind of unique in that we’ve never been involved in a merger or acquisition,” said Cindy Scott, CNB’s marketing and communications senior vice president. “Others have been bought up, but we’ve never been involved in that. It’s always been our bank through and through, our thoughts and beliefs, our values.”
That means even when the bank started — with four employees and $50,000 in assets — it has been able to keep its focus on the community.
First organized in 1920, the fledgling bank first took up residence at the intersection of Main and Vine streets in Bluffton. Interestingly, one of its first cashiers at the time, Elmer Romey, eventually ended up climbing the ranks there to become one of its five presidents. Romey’s grandson also held the role decades later.
Today, the Bluffton-headquartered bank now employs 160 people over 10 offices and holds $850 million in assets for customers throughout 11 counties. In 2019 alone, the business was able to bring in $17.6 million in income and $24 million in additional assets.
Outside of the business side, the bank also plays its role in the community through its charitable donations. Scott said the bank donates to 300 different organizations throughout its footprint.
The business’s longstanding dedication to community, however, doesn’t mean that there haven’t been changes whatsoever in how the bank functions. A large focus recently, Scott said, has been providing digital tools to its customers. With the addition of mobile banking, customers can now make mobile transactions through their phones, monitoring their checking accounts and credit scores and even making check deposits.
“We really try to focus on technology,” Scott said. “We know that it’s important for the millennials to be able to do anything from their phone.”
Such technology even helps with its commitment to traditional partners. Its standard for many commercial business owners was to never need to visit a CNB location because if they needed something, a bank employee would go to them, Scott said.
“We’re so blessed to have become an integral part of all the communities we serve throughout West Central Ohio,” CNB President Eric Faulkner said. “When I was named the fifth president of the bank ever in 2019, I was truly honored to be part of such a legacy of providing financial services and outstanding relationship building to our customers. I look forward to seeing what the next 100 years hold for our growing bank.”
Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.