"The people of West Central Ohio have been very loyal to our bank through the years. As we have grown and added services, more individuals and businesses have also come to appreciate the advantages our personal attention provides. I continue to believe that we are on the leading edge of banking technology in our region, and that means better service and greater access for our customers."
-J. Michael Romey, President/CEO
On January 31, 1920, the Citizens National Bank opened its doors for the first time in Bluffton, Ohio, and offered all new customers an apple in appreciation for stopping by. A review of the books from 1920 indicates that the bank began with $50,000 in capital and approximately four employees. Now, 98 years later, we have expanded our offices to Celina, Defiance, Elida, Findlay, Lima, Springfield, Toledo and Van Wert. We currently employ about 160 people and serve customers in eleven primary counties: Allen, Hancock, Putnam, Hardin, Auglaize, Mercer, Van Wert, Paulding, Clark, Defiance and Lucas.
Against the backdrop of low inflation and slow economic growth Citizens National Bank produced another record year in 2017, highlighted by strong loan growth and increases in core deposit funding.
New products, such as Instant Issue of debit and credit cards and our CardValet app for debit and credit cards, aid our customers in managing their finances. Instant Issue allows a customer to walk out of the branch with a new ready-to-use card if they lose it or have it stolen. This eliminates the stress and disruption of the traditional wait time of 5-10 business days when they needed to be ordered and sent to the customer’s home. The CardValet app is also now available for credit cards in addition to debit cards, allowing customers to receive immediate alerts on card transactions and turn their cards on and off on the go for added security.
As we look forward, we will continue to focus on providing services that make it easier for our customers to bank with us. Payroll services will allow us to take care of employee payroll and quarterly tax payments, saving owners time and staffing costs. We are investigating online applications for personal checking and savings accounts so customers may easily open and fund their account right from our website. We will also be launching CreditSense – a product that integrates with our online and mobile banking to offer you up-to-date credit scores every time you log in. We are also excited to offer mobile wallet options by the end of the year, including Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay. The way people choose to pay is changing and we’re committed to making it as easy as possible for our customers.
Citizens National Bank is consistently rated high for performance and stability. We are currently rated a 5 Star Bank by both Bauer Financial and Bankrate.com.
Citizens has a unique notoriety as being one of the banks that John Dillinger robbed in 1933. History has it that on August 14, 1933, John Dillinger and his gang came to Bluffton, stole $6,000 from The Citizens National Bank, and exited the bank, guns blazing (amazingly no one was injured) as they made their escape to the north.
In October of that year, John Dillinger was brought back to Ohio and held in the Lima jail (12 miles south of Bluffton) to stand trial for the Bluffton bank robbery. On October 12, Dillinger's "gang" came into the jail claiming they were officers from Indiana and they were taking Dillinger back to stand trial there. When Sheriff Jesse Sarber asked for their credentials, they opened fire on Sarber, killing him and breaking Dillinger out of jail.
Dillinger was one of the most publicized criminals of the 20th Century. On July 22, 1934, however, Dillinger was brought down by "The Lady in Red" when he was killed by federal agents and police as he left a Chicago movie house.
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