The Municipal Bank is celebrating its 50th anniversary as a community banking institution at the Bourbonnais location this weekend.
Cathy Boicken, president of the bank, said it was more than just a milestone.
“It started with a handshake in Momence, Illinois 50 years ago,” she said. “You don’t hear banking stories like that often.”
Merlin Karlock, local businessman, philanthropist, and community leader, founded Municipal Bank in 1971 with that handshake and statute, and the rest is history.
“One day he decided they needed another bank in Momence, met up with some farmers and business people in Momence, and went to Springfield the next day and got a charter,” said Boicken. “He started the bank in a church. He said, “God saved here. Here, too, we should all save. ‘”
The Municipal Bank grew rapidly from the address 228 N. Dixie Highway in Momence, opened a branch in Bourbonnais in 1980 and expanded to Manteno in 1994.
Boicken said local people and local decisions were key to the bank’s success. It now has just under $ 350 million in net worth.
“We have always made quick credit decisions,” she said. “We are very responsive. We’re still on the phone, you don’t go to voicemail. We just always believe in supporting the community and the community has been very open to supporting us. “
Municipal Bank is holding a Client Recognition Day on Saturday from 3pm to 7pm at its Bourbonnais location, 720 Main Street NW. There’s live music, face painting, magic shows for the kids, food, soft drinks, and an ice cream truck. It’s all free.
Boicken said it was important to give back to the community it serves as the bank is part of the community.
“Our employees are like family,” she says. “Many have been here for over 30 years. Our customers are like family, many have been here since it opened in 1971. I started as a secretary on the ground floor and did a little bit of everything. But it’s really nice to help people realize their dream of owning a home – be it owning a home or buying an investment property and looking forward to retiring with this new venture. It is very rewarding to be able to help the local people make these things happen. I have a great staff. “
Municipal Bank has 53 full-time employees at its three locations.
In addition to its business and personal checking and savings accounts, the bank offers a wide range of credit services, including mortgages. It also manages land trusts.
“During COVID, we were one of the market leaders among local small businesses with PPP [Payroll Protection Program] Loans, ”said Boicken. “We do home equity, we do auto loans. We are pretty full service. At the moment we are one of the market leaders in the world of investment real estate. This is how we make investment properties, apartment buildings, commercial loans.
“… We work hard to provide excellent customer service. We try to make quick and responsive decisions. And I think our growth shows that we have become very good at it. “