History

How it all started

In the summer of 1995, the only banking institutions available to Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti residents were companies headquartered outside the area. A group of prominent business people led by Bill Martin, our Chairman of the Board, decided to create a local bank. The applications for a new bank charter and for deposit insurance were filed that summer. The banking office at 125 S. Fifth Avenue in downtown Ann Arbor was purchased from Comerica Bank. Six million dollars of initial capital was raised from local businesses and professionals. Regulatory approval was granted.

Day One: January 16, 1996

Bank of Ann Arbor opened its doors with 15 employees and one location. By the end of 1998, our staff had grown to 40 and assets surpassed $113 million.

Trust Department added

In 1997, Bank of Ann Arbor opened a full service Trust Department with a team uniquely qualified to meet the wealth management and investment needs of our clients.

Expansion in 1999

We added 8,000 square feet to our downtown Ann Arbor location to meet the space needs for our growing trust, mortgage and commercial lending teams. We also added electronic banking services for businesses and expanded our ATM network.

2001: First branches opened

In February, Bank of Ann Arbor opened an office in the Traver Village Shopping Center at the corner of Nixon and Plymouth Roads on the northeast side of Ann Arbor. This office features extended banking hours and a drive-up ATM. In April, the Bank opened a downtown Ypsilanti office on East Michigan Avenue in a newly renovated historical building.

2002: Technology Industry Group launched

They focus on the unique needs of the region's ever-growing technology and life science business community.

2003: premier banking center opened at Stadium and Liberty

This branch has enjoyed significant growth over the years and trails only our Ellsworth Road and downtown banking centers in total deposits.

2004: Tim Marshall named Bank of Ann Arbor president

In January 2005, Tim became CEO, too. Despite a slowing economy, assets grew to $464 million with trust assets under management increasing to $370 million. In 2005, construction began on a 17,000 square foot, state-of-the-art branch at Ellsworth and Airport Roads on Ann Arbor's southeast side. We continued to add experienced bankers to our team bringing our count to over 80 employees.

2006: 10th anniversary

This was one of the most challenging years in the Bank's history. The Federal Reserve increased interest rates 17 times, negatively affecting the Bank's margin and earnings. Anticipating a continued challenging economy, our management began to aggressively reduce operating expenses and implement new tools to manage credit and asset/liability risk effectively. A focus on quality lending opportunities and core deposit growth allowed Bank of Ann Arbor to record a very respectable net profit. In March 2006 the Bank launched a marketing campaign that sums up what we do in one four-letter word: Help. "Bank of Ann Arbor helps" is more than an ad slogan. It genuinely reflects the attitude of our team toward our clients and community.

Also in 2006, our Ellsworth office opened. It includes customer friendly features like sit-down teller stations, a community room for meetings, coffee bar and comfortable library-like sitting area with a fireplace.

2007: Profitable, despite the economy

In spite of the continued weak economy and financial crisis faced by the banking industry, Bank of Ann Arbor remained profitable. Assets grew to $475 million with trust assets under management surpassing $563 million. Technological improvements for the year included EasyDeposit, which allows commercial clients to make deposits without coming to the bank. Bank of Ann Arbor's "Helps" campaign won an Excellence in Advertising designation from Independent Banker magazine.

2008: One challenge after another

Our bottom line: Bank of Ann Arbor was profitable while the industry struggled in the throes of the Great Recession. Our state-of-the-art products and services included online deposit account opening, mobile banking from cell phones, continued growth of our remote deposit product, EasyDeposit, improvements in our online mortgage application system and the introduction of free business bill pay.

2008: Sonic Lunch now being served

Bank of Ann Arbor created Sonic Lunch, a weekly summer outdoor concert series in downtown Ann Arbor's Liberty Plaza. We sought help from other community partners including Ann Arbor's 107one as our media partner and Perich Advertising + Design as our branding and creative partner. Today, Sonic Lunch continues to be an annual Ann Arbor tradition.

2009: We weathered the storm

Despite the continued challenges the banking industry faced in 2009, Bank of Ann Arbor fared better than most. While many financial institutions reduced staff, closed offices and eliminated benefits, we added nine new full-time, experienced banking professionals. The year ended with $542 million in assets and trust assets under management of $633 million for a total surpassing $1.1 billion. Most importantly, earnings improved for Bank of Ann Arbor during a year when over 40% of Michigan banks lost money.

2010: More financial growth

Deposits grew to record levels, reaching $609 million, a 31% increase over 2009. The Trust and Investment area continued an impressive growth trend by finishing the year with nearly $670 million in assets under administration.

In Washtenaw County, Bank of Ann Arbor deposits grew by a greater degree than any other bank in Ypsilanti, and all but one of the other 16 banks in Ann Arbor. In fact, most of our competitors lost market share in 2010.

Bank of Ann Arbor: Now in Plymouth

In May 2010, with the assistance of the FDIC, Bank of Ann Arbor acquired the deposits and most of the assets of New Liberty Bank in nearby Plymouth, Michigan. This became our first office outside of Washtenaw County.

Bank of Ann Arbor's continued strong performance throughout the economic downturn reflects our disciplined focus on the fundamentals, a strong credit culture, and the unwavering support of our shareholders, clients and communities that we serve.

2011: Deposits grow

More people and businesses moved their money to Bank of Ann Arbor. $77 million in deposits were added, for a total of $686 million. The FDIC, in its annual deposit survey, ranked Bank of Ann Arbor the fourth largest bank in Ann Arbor—up from seventh in 2010.

We finished 2011 with an asset level exceeding $774 million, while many competitors shrank or retreated from the market altogether. Since 2010, bank assets increased by more than $230 million, or nearly 43%.

In addition to experiencing higher levels of interest income, our Trust and Investment Management Group and Retail Mortgage Department continued to generate exceptional levels of non-interest income in 2011. The Trust and Investment area funded over $36 million in new investments to manage. And for the third consecutive year, our mortgage team completed approximately $100 million in new residential mortgage loans. Earnings per share reached $7.55, up from $5.90 in 2010, resulting in return on shareholders' equity of approximately 13%. This put Bank of Ann Arbor in the top 10% of all banks across the country.

Facebook makes more friends for the Bank

We enhanced our use of social media—most notably, Facebook and Twitter—to enhance our relationships with both clients and prospective clients. Our first Facebook application, the Sweet 15 Local Charity Drive, was launched in early 2011 to mark the bank's 15th anniversary and served to bolster our long-time support of the area's nonprofit community. Through Sweet 15, our Facebook community grew from just a few hundred fans to over 16,000 in just 60 days. We cordially welcomed thousands of new friends into the Bank of Ann Arbor community, many of who have ties to very worthwhile local charities.

The success of Sweet 15 garnered national attention, too. It was highlighted at the national banking conference of Fiserv, the bank's core processing system; featured on the cover of Michigan Banker magazine; and earned the 2011 Community Bank Service Award from the Independent Community Bankers Association, a national organization supporting our industry.

2012: Another good year

Deposits grew by 16%, up $107 million from the previous year. This growth in deposits fueled an increase in total assets to a record-level $891 million. Total assets climbed by nearly $349 million or 64% since 2009.

In 2012 we celebrated the successful completion of our fifth annual Bank of Ann Arbor Sonic Lunch program, a free summer concert series in Liberty Plaza. The attendance was at record-levels all summer highlighted by two epic performances from Mitch Ryder and Mayer Hawthorne, who performed to a standing room only crowd at the Michigan Theater. The bank continues to be strongly committed to supporting the arts, culture, and health and human service needs in the communities we serve. Our list of nonprofit organizations that we assist now exceeds 200 organizations.

Welcome, UniFi

In January 2013, Bank of Ann Arbor acquired Ervin Leasing, a privately held national equipment lease and finance company founded in 1978 and headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan. To help Ervin grow, the Bank supplied state-of-the-art technology, a stable funding source and sales management resources. After an intensive eight-month branding evaluation we renamed this wholly owned subsidiary UniFi Equipment Finance.

2013: 4th consecutive year of record-level performance

We became the second largest bank in Ann Arbor as measured by deposit market share. In addition, American Banker magazine named Bank of Ann Arbor as one of the Best Banks to Work for, number 20 out of over 7,000 U.S. banks. Financial Management Consulting Group, which rates banks in the Midwest, named Bank of Ann Arbor the #1 performing bank in Michigan during 2013. Lastly, Crain's Detroit Business put Bank of Ann Arbor on their Honor Roll of healthiest employers in Michigan, and Washtenaw County recognized the bank as a healthy workplace.

We added another location in early 2013 by transforming an empty, dated building in Saline into our newest state-of-the-art banking facility. With the sale of another local community bank to an out-of-state bank in 2014, we will be the only community bank with a local office serving the Saline community.

2014: Renovating the headquarters

We began the process of remodeling the downtown office which would include the addition of over 8,300 square feet of space.

As the Bank approaches $1 billion in assets, Bank of Ann Arbor is committed today to the same purpose for which it was founded in 1996. We remain locally owned and fiercely independent.

During 2014, the bank is a combined company of nearly $1.9 billion as the Trust and Investment area has grown to over $930 million in assets under administration and the bank has grown to over $950 million in assets with seven locations and 176 employees. Through our many years of growth and through the economic crisis, the Bank of Ann Arbor remained profitable and never lost its focus on our core values. Our growth is a reflection of what we strive to do each and every day: Help the businesses and families of Washtenaw County, and Plymouth, achieve their financial goals and help make all of the communities that we serve be a better place to live, work, and play.

2015-2016

Continued growth from new business and expanding existing relationships pushed deposits above $1 billion and total assets to $1.2 billion. We are now the second largest bank in Ann Arbor - only 3.5% behind Chase - with nearly 14% of market share in deposits.

For the second time in the last three years, the American Bankers Association deemed Bank of Ann Arbor one of the U.S.'s Top 50 Best Banks to Work For in 2015. We were also recognized by the Independent Community Bankers of America as one of the Top 50 Community Bank Leaders in Social Media; three of our team members were included in the Top 25 Community Bank Influencers on Twitter.

Our culture has also been positively influenced by our nationally recognized wellness program. Crain's Detroit Business magazine included Bank of Ann Arbor on its list of Healthiest Employers in Southeast Michigan. Jim Miller, our human resources director, was a speaker at a national wellness conference in which many prestigious companies participated, including Disney, American Airlines, Pfizer, and others.

2016: 20-year anniversary

This milestone includes a new Bank of Ann Arbor logo, the design of which represents the approachable personalities of all of our team members, our brand's youthful spirit, and the entire bank's focus on the future.

In the summer of 2016 an extensive renovation and expansion of our main office at 125 South Fifth Avenue was completed. For downtown Ann Arbor, this is a significant investment in a prime piece of real estate.

2017: Our eighth straight year of record-level financial performance

Our Birmingham office's first full year was an unequivocal success. There, we cordially welcomed the eight new Directors to our Birmingham Community and Advisory Board. Also in Birmingham, we added personnel in private banking, commercial lending, investment advisory, and mortgage banking.

Also in 2017, UniFi Equipment Finance, our wholly owned small-ticket leasing subsidiary in Ann Arbor (which does business nationally), achieved record-level performance.

Since Bank of Ann Arbor was founded in 1996, we've consistently supported the communities we serve. We've contributed over $5.4 million to help support area nonprofit organizations, schools, faith-based institutions, the arts, and others. In 2017, Bank of Ann Arbor personnel volunteered more than 3,000 hours to nearly 200 nonprofit organizations.

Our free Sonic Lunch Concert Series enjoyed a 10th successful year filling Liberty Plaza in downtown Ann Arbor every Thursday afternoon during the summer.

For the third time in five years, we were named one of American Banker's Best Banks to Work For (only 75 of 6,000 institutions were named) thanks to our strong culture, value system, competitive benefits, terrific team, strong commitment to the community, and fun work environment.

We were also selected as one of Michigan's Best and Brightest in Wellness. Our wellness program, now in its 10th year, offers fitness classes, wellness workshops, sponsorships of walks, runs, and races, access to nutrition advisors, and more.