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First State Bank Announces Private Mortgage Banking Group

MillieCain

First State Bank of St. Charles is proud to announce that Millie Cain has joined First State Bank to lead the initiative in their new Private Mortgage Banking Group.

Located in the bank’s brand-new West County office, the Private Mortgage Banking Group will provide flexible real estate options for affluent professionals and executives, and the high net worth individual or couple.

“It is our goal to provide unique financing strategies that take into careful consideration a client’s wealth management goals and current portfolio,” says David Strautz, CEO and president of First State Bank.

As Senior Private Mortgage Advisor, Cain is responsible for serving the financial needs of business executives, upper management and entrepreneurial professionals in the greater St. Louis marketplace.  Cain has over 25 years of experience in banking, wealth management, personal finance and real estate, and has served previously as senior vice president in private banking and wealth management for a St. Louis bank.

“No loan is too small or too large for full review and consideration,” says Cain.  “My emphasis is on relationship building and a high level of service that the more affluent professional and high net worth individual or couple have earned and come to expect.  My specialty will be in developing new solutions to meet their lending needs and in handling complex personal loan transactions.”

Cain is an active leader in many of the area’s charitable, non-profit and community organizations, including the St. Louis Crisis Nursery, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, St. Andrews Resources for Seniors, National Society of Arts and Letters and St. Louis Friends of Children’s Hospital.

The Private Mortgage Banking Group will be located in First State Bank’s Chesterfield lending office, located on Chesterfield Grove Drive, and is expected to be fully operational by late February 2012.

Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer Holds Community Roundtable

Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer Holds Community Roundtable

Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer hosted a roundtable discussion with local financial institutions, community leaders and small business owners on Monday morning at First State Bank Mortgage. “Community development is critical to expanding our economy and creating jobs. This roundtable provided me with a unique opportunity to discuss the issue from a congressional perspective while also hearing first-hand about the important challenges facing the people of St. Charles County,” the Congressman said.

First State Bank of St. Charles President and CEO David P. Strautz presented the roundtable in partnership with the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines. “To have these kinds of conversations is important because they become a driving force for economic and community development. We welcome the opportunity to work with Congressman Luetkemeyer in finding solutions that will benefit businesses and communities in St. Charles County.”

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines will be holding similar events across the five Midwestern states in its district to create awareness of local issues and promote civic dialog. “FHLB Des Moines shares the desire of Congressman Luetkemeyer to build stronger, sustainable neighborhoods in Missouri. We provide grants and low-cost loans to our member financial institutions to create affordable housing, support jobs and stimulate economic growth,” said Dan Clute, senior vice president, communications and external affairs, FHLB Des Moines.

Among the topics discussed were resources to stabilize neighborhoods, the continuing role of the Federal Home Loan Bank System in supporting housing finance, innovation and small business.

First State Bank Confirms Commitment to Provide No-Fee ATM Network and Free Mobile Banking

Established in 1867, First State Bank of St. Charles is committed to continuing to evolve with the changing times by offering the latest products available to banking consumers.  The bank recently rolled out its new Mobile Banking program.

“Mobile Banking allows our customers to access accounts from anywhere using a cell phone,” said marketing officer Trish Lovan.  “Customers can view account balances and recent transactions and even transfer funds and pay bills.  The program is free and appeals to a large segment of our customer base.”

Mobile Banking services can be used by any First State Bank customer with a mobile phone that is capable of receiving and sending text messages.

The bank is also pleased to offer their debit card customers a network of over 22,000 no-fee ATMs.  The bank operates its own ATM machines, but also participates in the MoneyPass network of ATMs, which allows its customers to use any ATM included within the MoneyPass network and complete transactions without any fees.  Customers can search for free ATMs in their area by using the First State Bank ATM Locator tool.

“We are working to educate our customers on our expanding network of surcharge-free ATMs,” Lovan said.  “We have hundreds of ATM locations in the St. Charles County area, and we have many more nationwide.  We are committed to remaining accessible to our customers.”

First State Bank Announces $15,000 in Funding to Homebuyers

A grant totaling $15,000 was recently awarded to First State Bank by Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines. The grant is part of FHLB Des Moines Rural Homeownership Fund (RHF) which supports homeownership opportunities for families and individuals in rural communities.

Hardworking home buyers who can make a house payment with no difficulty sometimes cannot purchase a home because they do not have the funds required for upfront costs. This program provides an opportunity for qualified individuals and families to purchase homes by receiving funds to assist with the down payment, closing cost, counseling or rehabilitation of the property.

By participating in RHF, First State Bank will be able to distribute awards of up to $1,000 to each eligible homebuyer.  “This grant allows us to help eligible buyers with a down payment, closing costs, counseling or small rehabilitation projects that can greatly assist homebuyers in their closing process,” said Brad Eimer, vice president of wholesale lending at First State Bank Mortgage.  “As a community bank, it’s important to us to be able to offer assistance to local homebuyers.”

Since the creation of RHF in 1996, 6,110 grants totaling $20.6 million dollars have been awarded to support rural housing activity in five Midwest states. “These grants provide our member financial institutions the opportunity to help community members achieve their dream of homeownership. Homeownership not only brings stability to individuals and families but also to the neighborhoods and communities where they live,” said Gary Dodge, community investment director at FHLB Des Moines.

If you are interested in purchasing a home using the Rural Homeownership Fund grant, contact one of First State Bank’s experienced mortgage lenders for details at (636) 940-LOAN or apply online by clicking here.

Renee Vogelgesang Joins First State Bank

First State Bank of St. Charles is proud to announce the addition of Renee Vogelgesang to their team as a Business Development Officer.

Vogelgesang brings over 12 years of experience in the banking industry.  Vogelgesang came from Regions Bank, where she worked as a Business Banker.

At First State Bank, her major duties as Business Development Officer are to handle the needs of current business customers and to find new growth opportunities in the community.

Vogelgesang is a member of the Harvester Kiwanis Club and the Medical Group Managers Association (MGMA) of St. Louis.  She has her Bachelors of Science from Lindenwood University, and is a current resident of Old Monroe.

Earth City-Based Hummert International Receives $1.8 Million Loan From First State Bank of St. Charles and State Treasurer’s Office

Treasurer Zweifel touring Hummert International Treasurer Zweifel announces a $1.8 million loan for Hummert International
Treasurer Zweifel touring Hummert International with Sonny Hummert (R), company president, and Jim Duever (L), company vice president. While at Hummert International in Earth City, Treasurer Zweifel announces a $1.8 million loan for the company. Company president Sonny Hummert (R) said the loan would significantly improve cash flow for his company.

First State Bank was proud to welcome State Treasurer Clint Zweifel to St. Charles on July 14, 2011, to announce a small business loan made through the Missouri Linked Deposit Program.  As a financial institution participating in the Linked Deposit program, First State Bank of St. Charles was able to offer a low-interest business loan to Hummert International.  Hummert International is an international manufacturer, distributor and designer of horticulture supplies, equipment and services.

The $1.8 million low-interest business loan directly affects the company’s Earth City-based international headquarters and its 75 full-time Missouri-based employees.

The Treasurer’s office estimates that qualifying borrowers generally save 30 percent on their interest costs with a Linked Deposit business loan.

“For decades, our family has been devoted to providing high-quality merchandise with expertise and variety to our customers,” said Sonny Hummert, president of Hummert International. “Our location in the St. Louis region is a strength for us as we export around the globe – that is why we are proud to keep our headquarters here. The Midwest has proven to be a great benefit to our success. The Missouri Linked Deposit Program has assisted in ensuring future growth in our business, helping us remain competitive in the horticulture market.”

“This is a significant loan for Missouri – because it is not just about bringing businesses to Missouri – it is about keeping them here too and rewarding their commitment,” Treasurer Zweifel said. “This is a 77-year-old Missouri-based innovator – now exporting to all 50 states and more than 70 countries. This loan frees up a significant amount of cash for Hummert, to the tune of almost $200,000 over five years so it can continue to export expertise and goods, not its jobs. That has a real and significant impact on the company’s employees – 58 based in Earth City – and its customers, its suppliers, the region and Missouri.”

Hummert International has 58 employees in Earth City, 8 employees in Springfield, Mo., five in St. Joseph, Mo., and 11 in Topeka, Kan.

August H. Hummert started his company with the original 16-page product pamphlet, and today it has a supply catalog with more than 688 pages printed and a web-based version that have set the industry standard. The loan will be used to refinance the company’s 83,000 square foot international headquarters, greenhouse, show room and warehouse; freeing up an estimated $200,000 in debt service over the next five years.

“Working with an institution like Hummert International is what drives our commercial lending,” said Dave Harris, senior vice president of First State Bank of St. Charles. “We are helping it get the capital it needs, and we are proud to continue working with Treasurer Zweifel to continue investing in more small businesses in our region – keeping those businesses here and keeping employees working.”

The St. Louis region has received $99 million from 165 loans impacting nearly 2,000 jobs and farmers. Qualifying borrowers generally save 30 percent on the cost of the loan. More than $692 million in loans have been approved statewide impacting more than 11,250 jobs and farmers since January 2009.

About the Missouri Linked Deposit Program
The Missouri Linked Deposit Program is managed by State Treasurer Clint Zweifel. Missouri-based small businesses with up to 99 employees and farmers are eligible to receive a loan through the Missouri Linked Deposit Program based on lender underwriting standards. Additionally, local governments, housing developments and alternative-energy focused projects may qualify for the low-interest loans.

Read more about the Linked Deposit program.

Bank Economists See Improving U.S. Economic and Employment Growth

Economic activity will pick up in the second half of this year from the current soft patch, according to the American Bankers Association’s Economic Advisory Committee, which issued its consensus forecast in June.

The group, which includes a dozen chief economists from the largest banks across the country, predicts that inflation-adjusted GDP growth will rise to near 3 percent in the second half of this year and during 2012.

“Business growth has built up some staying power, despite continued head winds,” said Peter Hooper, committee chairman and chief economist of Deutsche Bank, New York. “Economic recovery at an above-trend pace will support continuing recovery of jobs, but we have a long way to go to get back to where we were before the Great Recession.”

According to the committee, more than 2 million jobs will be created this year – more than twice as many as last year. And next year, it will be 2.5 million.

However, with nearly 9 million jobs lost in 2008-2009, and less than 2 million regained so far, the bank economists see high unemployment lingering yet trending down. The group forecast is for the national unemployment rate to decline from 9.1 percent in May to a bit under 8 percent by the end of next year.

The bank economists see businesses leading growth, while consumers remain cautious. Business investment is expected to grow at twice the pace of the overall economy this year and accelerate in 2012. On the other hand, the committee sees real consumer spending growing around 2.5 percent this year and next.

“The high price of food and gas is eating into discretionary spending and the termination of the payroll tax cuts next year won’t help,” said Hooper. “Moreover, lingering high unemployment and further weakness in home prices will add to consumer caution.”

In addition, the committee expects the housing sector to remain weak into next year. The bank economists see home prices falling another 3 percentage points before bottoming by mid-2012. At that point, however, the committee foresees that home building and sales will start to grow and begin to contribute positively to the economy.

Low interest rates and strengthening credit will support growth, according to the committee.  For consumer credit, and even more so for business credit, the committee foresees steady reduction in delinquencies and strengthening of credit growth into 2012.  The committee forecasts consumer loans to grow at 3.9 percent and business loans to grow at 6.1 percent in 2012.

“Even with overall inflation somewhat elevated currently, core inflation is expected to be tame – below 2 percent – through 2012. Absent inflationary pressures, the Fed will hold back on raising interest rates until next year,” said Hooper.

The committee forecast is that the Fed will not raise the federal funds target rate from the current 0.25 percent ceiling until the second quarter of next year, with the target rate moving above 1 percent by year-end 2012.

“As economic growth solidifies, the Fed will want to stay ahead of the inflation curve by gradually pushing rates up.”

Low inflation and Fed restraint will keep interest rates down in general, according to the committee. The forecast for 3-month Treasury bills is to hold near 0.1 percent through this year. The 10-year Treasury note and 30-year mortgage rates are expected to rise to 3.6 percent and 5.1 percent (respectively) by year-end.  As the Fed begins to tighten monetary policy, interest rates will move higher.  Treasury bills will rise to 1.3 percent, 10-year Treasuries will rise to 4.3 percent, and 30-year mortgages will rise to 5.8 percent by year-end 2012.

“With the Fed moving slowly and credit quality steadily improving, bank lending will support economic recovery,” said Hooper.

Financial Safety Tips to Combat Identity Theft and Financial Scams

Financial safety starts with you. Having the tools and knowledge to protect yourself can prevent identity theft and give you peace of mind. Protect yourself and your financial information with these safety tips:

  • Be on alert for emails or phone calls that ask you to “verify” or “reactivate” your account information. Your bank already has your account information, so we’ll never ask you in an email or on the phone to provide us with information we already have. If in doubt, delete the email (or hang up) and immediately call the bank to report your experience.
  • Never write your PIN number on the back of your ATM card or disclose your PIN to anyone.
  • Don’t leave receipts at the ATM. They often contain information crooks could use.
  • Some customers have reported suspicious emails from ACH, NACHA or the Federal Reserve. The subject line may be: Wire Transfer or something similar. The email states that a wire transfer you initiated has not been processed and provides a link for more information. Do NOT click on the link, and delete the email from your Inbox.

    Sample of this type of email:
    FedReserveEmail
  • Sometimes suspicious emails are sent from an email address of someone that you know. Even when you recognize the sender, this may likely still be a spoof email sent by a malicious virus. If the body of the email sounds unusual and includes links, DO NOT click on any of the links. Notify the sender of the email that their inbox may have a virus and delete the email immediately.

    Sample of this type of email:
    scamEmail

Remember: NEVER give out account or card information over the phone, unless you have initiated the call to a known published number. Also, please notify us if you receive any suspicious calls, emails or text messages that relate to your financial information or account. Your financial security is our highest priority.

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