A Publication of WTVP

Central Illinois Bank Continues to Grow

MidAmerica National Bank (formerly named National Bank of Canton) is a commercial bank that was established on November 22, 1933 in Canton. The bank’s name was updated to MidAmerica National Bank in 1988 to better reflect the markets the bank serves. The bank now has offices in Peoria, Canton, Macomb, Moline, Lewistown, and Cuba. MidAmerica National Bank is a locally-owned community bank with approximately 450 shareholders that live throughout the communities in which the bank maintains its offices. Its total asset size is $266,832,000.

"MidAmerica National Bank is a full service bank that actively focuses on identifying and fulfilling the financial needs of the communities we serve," said Andrew Herrera, president of the Peoria MidAmerica office. "The bank’s vision is to provide the communities in which we operate the best possible banking service. The bank continues to adhere to that philosophy. Because we have such a strong local presence in all of our markets we are able to listen and give our customers almost immediate responses to their requests. Since the bank was founded, there have been enormous changes that required us to also change to give our customers and prospective customers the products and services they need. Although we will have to continue to change our products and services to meet our customers’ needs, the excellent service we offer will remain constant."

Herrera said MidAmerica offers banking services including residential mortgage lending, trust services, employee benefits, commercial banking, commercial lending, deposit services, internet banking, and consumer lending. "Over the next five to 10 years, more and more businesses and consumers will use the technology already in place at MidAmerica National Bank, which allows our customers to complete almost all of their banking needs—including bill payment—through the Internet. This Internet access has been accepted by many of our customers, but a majority still have not tied in to this wonderful product. We strongly believe this number will increase dramatically over the next five to 10 years, as people become more comfortable with this type of banking."

The Peoria office opened with four employees in a small location on Northmoor Road two and a half years ago, Herrera said. Steady growth necessitated a move to a larger location at 7535 N. Knoxville Avenue in March 2001. The office now employs 14 people, with Herrera serving as president. Herrera has been involved in banking in the Peoria market for more than 30 years, working in the business banking departments of the First National Bank of Peoria and First of America Bank before joining MidAmerica.

Over the past three years the bank has expanded into the Peoria and Quad Cities markets, Herrera said. "We have also enjoyed good growth in the markets we already serve. Our main purpose in opening offices in Peoria and the Quad Cities was to provide the type of service in those communities difficult to find due to the mergers and acquisitions over the past several years.

"We initially concentrated on commercial lending, and that’s still an area of success. The commercial lending products continue to be responsible for the major part of our growth. We also offer trust services such as asset management, investment management, estate settlements, and employee benefits. Our trust services are offered locally and record keeping is local as well. Our residential lending department has greatly exceeded our expectations. Although refinancing due to falling interest rates has played a part in the volume of real estate loans, the service and pricing we offer also played a big part," he said.

Herrera said what sets MidAmerica apart from many in the industry is the excellent service the bank offers and the experience of its staff. "In Peoria we feel we can accommodate any banking service businesses and consumers require, and we can do it without delay. We are a community bank and do not have the red tape and bureaucracy present with some Peoria banks. Our shareholders, board of directors, management, and staff reside in the Peoria area and understand the market and its needs. Our customers can talk to us one on one and do not have to rely on 800 numbers."

One of the biggest changes that has taken place over the past several years is the number of non-commercial bank industries that now offer products and services once only offered by commercial banks, Herrera said.

Though some customers may believe MidAmerica’s size doesn’t allow them to fill the credit needs of some businesses in the Peoria area, Herrera said the misperception is false. "With a total asset size of $266,832,000 and a total capital base of $30,232,000, we can provide sufficient credit to most businesses in the Peoria area."

MidAmerica’s quality staff also contributes to its success. "Most of our key employees in the Peoria office and throughout the bank were recruited from larger financial institutions in the Peoria area. Most of these individuals were looking for a change back to banking on a community level and approached MidAmerica about opportunities," Herrera said. "As opportunities arose we had the good fortune to be able to add them to our staff. These employees came to MidAmerica with an enormous amount of experience. They remembered community banking as it used to be and were eager to become involved in a community banking environment again. The addition of these experienced bankers has given MidAmerica a real advantage. Not only have they brought their experience to the bank, they have maintained a relationship with customers in the community for many years. The staff has been the key to our success."

Herrera said the future will include new expansions for MidAmerica. "As we grow, we will add new locations in the markets in which we operate. We hope to add new services and products as our customer base increases. Some of our new products will be non-traditional banking products such as insurance and brokerage services. The one thing that will not change is the community banking service we offer." IBI