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By KATE GENO

   With the addition of Brad Rench as Regional President of the Metro East, First Mid-Illinois Bank and Trust is looking Rench BradRenchto expand its market further into Southwestern Illinois. It currently has branches in Highland, Maryville and Pocahontas.
    Brad Rench has a 31-year background in banking, working with financial institutions primarily in this region. One of the benefits of working with First Mid-Illinois Bank and Trust is the fact that it is a large regional bank with a small bank attitude, said Rench. First Mid-Illinois Bank and Trust competes with large regional banks for larger loans while also retaining a community bank philosophy.
    One of the bank’s strengths lies in its diversification of products. First Mid-Illinois Bank and Trust has a wealth management division that specializes in trusts, estate and tax planning, investment services, retirement plans, farm management and insurance for its clients. According to Rench, diversifying financial services rather than relying solely on loans and deposits is crucial for future success in the industry.
    Another key to success is the bank’s long-standing relationships with its customers. Rench believes a bank is only as successful as its customers and good customer service means understanding your clients. Instead of offering standardized products, First Mid-Illinois Bank and Trust tailors its programs to each client’s needs.
    An example of a tailor-made program for a specific market is the bank’s agriculture division. Its agricultural team specializes in assisting farmers, farm businesses and landowners with a wide range of farming matters. First Mid-Illinois Bank and Trust ranks among the top 100 firms nationwide for professional farm management and is a leading supplier for agricultural credit in the area.
    According to Rench, the bank’s financial strength and strong franchise value will contribute to its future growth in the region. It was awarded a Bauer 5-star financial rating and ranked in the top 200 community banks in the nation by American Banker. A great group of dedicated staff allows the bank to achieve these rankings, said Rench.
    First Mid-Illinois Bancshares, Inc., headquartered in Mattoon, Ill., is the parent company of First Mid-Illinois Bank and Trust, N.A.; Mid-Illinois Data Services, Inc.; and First Mid-Illinois Bank and Trust Insurance Group. Over its long history — the bank was first chartered in 1865 — it has grown into an over $1.5 billion community-focused organization that provides financial services through a network of 38 locations in 25 Illinois communities.