|By Glenn Puit, The Record-Eagle, Traverse City, Mich.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
Ramaker said the Midland-based financial institution wanted a presence in the
"If you look at our particular footprint of our company today ... the northwestern part of the state is where we are not," Ramaker said. "We've looked at this area for a long time. The attractiveness is the vibrancy of it, the diversity of it, and, in partnering with someone like Northwestern, we truly get the depth and breadth of the market."
Ramaker confirmed the merger will cause job losses.
"Anytime you do a merger like this, part of the way that you pay for that is, unfortunately, consolidations of jobs," Ramaker said.
"Anyone who is servicing customers day in and day out, we need all those people," Ramaker said. "They are the ones who are servicing the customers today. When you take a look at the operational side of the equation, that's typically where, unfortunately, the positions are eliminated. Those are where the jobs are lost. We are looking at how we can minimize that in every way possible."
The merger comes two months after Northwestern emerged from a consent agreement with federal regulators because of failures in some of Northwestern's commercial loans in 2012. In
Calcutt denied wrongdoing. The government's case against him is pending.
"I would consider it separate," Terpsma said. "We were working with the regulators, and we made tremendous progress during 2013, both in asset quality and earnings. As a result of that we had the consent order lifted at year's end. Where it is a part of this is that this same improvement created more value in attracting us to Chemical."
The merger will make Chemical the eighth largest financial institution in
Terpsma said Northwestern customers won't be affected.
"They (Chemical) are a community bank, the largest community bank in effect in
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