Bank hiring lenders


Detroit-based Chemical Bank operates branches across Michigan, including downtown Benton Harbor. Photo via

Following the completion of a “restructuring effort” in the fourth quarter, a Michigan bank with a large presence in the region is now hiring.

Midland-based Chemical Financial Corporation, the parent company of Chemical Bank, said in its fourth-quarter 2017 and year-end earnings call yesterday it plans to hire 10 commercial lenders during the first half of the year.

The hires will be spread across its Grand Rapids, Detroit and Cleveland offices. Chemical Bank did not disclose how many of the 10 new hires will be located in Grand Rapids.

The bank also recently hired 14 commercial bankers who started between the end of the third quarter and the first two weeks of the fourth quarter.

Chemical’s “restructuring” completed at the end of the fourth quarter included the consolidation of 25 bank branches — plus the 13 consolidated in the third quarter — and a roughly seven-percent net reduction in the company’s workforce.

David Provost, CEO of the corporation, and Thomas Shafer, vice chair of the corporation and CEO of Chemical Bank, said the new hires are part of the bank’s plan to grow its loan portfolio between 9 and 10 percent on an annualized basis.

They said the moves fit with goals the bank set after its merger with Talmer Bancorp in August 2016.

“We are pleased with our results for the quarter, including improved efficiency resulting from our restructuring efforts, high-quality loan growth, maintaining a stable net interest margin and making headway on new commercial banker hires,” they said.

“We believe the efforts that we have undergone put us in a solid position for a successful 2018. We look forward to further growth in our markets to be achieved through investments in expanding our commercial lending and banking teams in high-growth areas, key operation staff adds to support our customer service enhancements and enhancing our core systems.”

According to Dennis Klaeser, EVP and CFO, the bank plans to use savings from the restructuring to roll out improvements to its operating system in July.


Chemical Financial Corporation operates through its state-chartered subsidiary, Chemical Bank.

The company operates 212 banking offices in Michigan, northeast Ohio and northern Indiana.

As of Dec. 31, 2017, the corporation had total assets of $19.28 billion.

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