Advances

David Romer, president and CEO of St. Henry Bank, St. Henry, Ohio, an FHLB Cincinnati member.

St. Henry Bank

St. Henry Bank in St. Henry, Ohio, has turned to the FHLB’s Mortgage Purchase Program to help manage interest rate risk on fixed-rate mortgages.

“We used to just match them in house, but that was getting to be too much risk, so we joined MPP,” said David Romer, president and CEO of St. Henry Bank. The bank joined MPP following the financial crisis in 2008. “We felt we were taking on too much interest rate risk,” he said. “Using MPP has absolutely made us better. It’s allowed us to be much more competitive in the marketplace.”

St. Henry Bank, with sister bank Ottoville Bank Co., services four mainly agricultural counties in central western Ohio, with some business crossing the state line into Indiana. St. Henry Bank has $300 million in assets, Ottoville Bank Co. has $85 million in assets, and the banks combined have about 40 employees.

St. Henry Bank joined FHLB Cincinnati in 1999, and now is servicing $55 million in mortgage loans sold to MPP. Mr. Romer said he’s found FHLB staff good to work with. “MPP is very user friendly. You guys have been dependable,” he said.

Overall, the use of FHLB Advances and MPP helps St. Henry Bank provide loan products that otherwise might not be available. In the agricultural communities, the bank serves, the availability of those products can make the difference when a farmer chooses to expand, Mr. Romer said.