First Merchants Jumps To #2 On Forbes List Of Top U.S. Banks For 2019

First Merchants CorporationFirst Merchants Corporation. Photo by: Mike Rhodes

By: Chad Mertz—

Muncie, IN —Forbes has released its 2019 list of “America’s Best Banks,” and for the second straight year, one of Indiana’s legacy financial institutions sits near the top. First Merchants Bank, the largest financial services holding company in Central Indiana and second largest in the state, was ranked by Forbes as the country’s second best bank.

“We are extremely proud of this achievement as it speaks to the financial strength of First Merchants clients and vitality of the communities we serve,” said First Merchants CEO Michael C. Rechin. “We are successful when our clients are successful, and every single one our 1,700 employees plays a key role in making that happen. My teammates deserve all the credit.”

Forbes ranks the top 100 largest banks based on 10 metrics related to growth, profitability, capital adequacy and asset quality. Metrics include return on average tangible equity, return on average assets, net interest margin, efficiency ratio and net charge-offs as a percent of total loans.

First Merchants, ranked fourth in Forbes’ 2018 grading of the country’s 100 largest banks, once again ranks ahead of peers like JPMorgan Chase, Fifth Third Bancorp and Citigroup.

Forbes reporter Kurt Badenhausen highlighted data points that indicate First Merchants continues to be positioned for high performance: The $10 billion bank ranked strongly across the board, including return on average assets (1.5%) and ROATCE (17.4%). Its reserves are nearly four times its total nonperforming loans.


About First Merchants Corporation

First Merchants Corporation is a financial holding company headquartered in Muncie, Indiana. The Corporation has one full-service bank charter, First Merchants Bank. The Bank also operates as First Merchants Private Wealth Advisors (as a division of First Merchants Bank). First Merchants Corporation’s common stock is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market System under the symbol FRME. Quotations are carried in daily newspapers and can be found on the company’s website ( FIRST MERCHANTS and the Shield Logo are federally registered trademarks of First Merchants Corporation.