A History of Growth
In June of 1929, a group of private investors received a charter from the state of Indiana to open the Merchants Bank & Trust Company, a commercial bank, to be located in West Harrison, Indiana. Located just inside Indiana, on the western edge of Hamilton County, the bank has been a pillar of the community by providing vital financial services and quality employment to the area. During the first ten years of its existence the bank was challenged by the Great Depression but was able to avoid failure - a fate that many of the nation's banks met during the 1930's.
The 1970's and 1980's were marked by steady growth. In the 1970's, the bank undertook the major initiative of converting from manual to computerized operations. It was also during this time that the bank opened its first branch office in Bright, Indiana. As bank operations continued to grow throughout the 1980s, it became evident that a new, larger facility was needed. In 1986 the bank built and moved into its current main office, located in West Harrison, Indiana, directly on the Indiana/Ohio state borders. A second branch office was opened in Aurora, Indiana. Unfortunately, due to restrictive banking regulations, the bank was unable to branch into Ohio. The 1980's also saw the bank's Board of Directors and shareholders adopt a holding company structure, and MBT Bancorp was formed, with Merchants Bank & Trust as its sole affiliate.
As growth continued throughout the 1990's, banking regulations finally allowed the bank to open a branch office in Harrison, Ohio.
Since 2000, the bank has significantly expanded its line of financial services, allowing it to virtually double in size. Construction was completed for a new and larger Aurora branch office that offers customers improved visibility and drive-thru banking. The Harrison, Ohio branch office was renovated and expanded. And, in Bright, Indiana, a new 4,000 square foot office was built to replace its original branch office. A fourth branch office in the Cincinnati suburb of Hyde Park opened in the fall of 2005 followed by the addition of our Western Hills branch in July, 2007. Also in 2007 we established a full-service Wealth Management Department with customized portfolio management.
For more than 75 years, the bank's founding families have continued their strong commitment to continuity and tradition of providing quality financial services. In fact, many of the original founders have family members on the bank's current Board of Directors. The bank's current business plan calls for the company to remain independent and continue expanding its banking services throughout the Greater Cincinnati area.