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Belpre Savings Bank to affiliate with First Mutual Holding and First Federal Lakewood

Published 21 August 2015

Belpre Savings Bank in southeastern Ohio is set to become an affiliate bank of First Mutual Holding (FMHC), pending approval of regulatory agencies and Belpre's depositors and borrowers.

Belpre Savings, with $51 million in assets, joins First Federal Lakewood, the largest independent depositor-owned bank headquartered in Ohio, as an affiliate of FMHC. Like First Federal Lakewood, Belpre Savings will continue to operate under its own charter and name. Belpre Savings will continue to serve its customers and community as Belpre's only hometown-based bank.

The management team, board of directors and employees will continue in their current roles.

The affiliation with FMHC and First Federal Lakewood will enable Belpre Savings to offer its customers a wider range of financial products and services such as mobile banking, investment services and credit-related products. Belpre Savings also will be able to more cost-effectively enhance its information security, compliance and risk management systems as a result of its integration into the FMHC organization.

"We are firm believers in the importance of independent mutual banks," said Thomas J. Fraser, president and CEO of First Federal Lakewood and FMHC. "When we formed the holding company, our intent was to affiliate with other banks and provide them with new opportunities to better serve their customers while remaining independent."

"We welcome Belpre Savings as our new affiliate bank, and we look forward to working with their team to continue to support the Belpre, Marietta and Parkersburg markets. Mutual banks play a vital role unlike any other in their communities."

FMHC was established as a depositor-owned mutual holding company on August 3, 2015, and is believed to be the first such holding company created since the Dodd-Frank Act reformed the financial services industry nearly five years ago.

"Belpre Savings has proudly served the Belpre community since 1902. Our priorities have always focused on providing our banking services in as personalized a manner as possible," said Randy Shingleton, president and CEO of Belpre Savings Bank. "Affiliating with FMHC will allow us to be even more effective in serving the best interests of our customers, communities and employees."

Source: Company Press Release