Citing growth and lending ability, Muncie-based financial institution ranks 15th in U.S.

MUNCIE, Ind. – Forbes has released its 2021 list of “America’s Best Banks,” and once again, one of the Midwest’s legacy financial institutions sits at the top of banks based in Indiana and one of the best in the nation. First Merchants Bank – Indiana’s second largest financial services holding company – is rated by Forbes as the country’s 15th best bank for 2021.

“My colleagues and I are honored and humbled for First Merchants to once again be recognized as the top bank in Indiana and among the leading financial institutions nationally,” said First Merchants CEO Mark Hardwick. “The ranking recognizes and demonstrates the strength and stability we provide our clients – particularly during this unprecedented and uncertain environment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The true barometer of our company’s performance will continue to be the results we produce for our clients and providing the highest level of service to them, our neighbors and communities.”

First Merchants – rated fifth in Forbes’ 2020 grading of the country’s 100 largest banks – once again ranks ahead of peers like JPMorgan Chase, Fifth Third Bancorp and Citigroup. The company was ranked second in the U.S. by Forbes in 2019.

Forbes ranks the country’s 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. S&P Global Market Intelligence provides data, but the rankings are done exclusively by Forbes. The global media company also factored in nonperforming assets as a percent of assets, risk-based capital ratio and reserves as a percent of nonperforming assets.

In his article, Forbes reporter Antoine Gara noted the effect COVID-19 has had on the economy and the staying power of America’s biggest banks as they have navigated a unique year supporting their clients and remaining, for the most part, unscathed.

First Merchants has assets of approximately $14.1 billion with 130 banking offices in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Illinois.