7 UP banks respond to bank closures in California, New York

Banks encourage customers to research their ratings online.
Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 4:20 PM EDT
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UPPER MICHIGAN, Mich. (WLUC) - After two large banks closed in California and New York, U.P. bankers said it is natural to feel nervous. However, seven U.P. banks issued a joint statement reaffirming the U.P. banking economy.

First National Bank & Trust, First Bank, The Miners State Bank, Northern Interstate Bank, Range Bank, Stephenson National Bank & Trust, and Upper Peninsula State Bank were the seven banks represented in this joint statement.

“Community banks in the Upper Peninsula continue to be very strong. We are well capitalized and have strong earnings and liquidity. We will continue to use local deposits to fund local loans to local businesses and consumers in the area. We will keep the economy driving,” said Benjamin Wood, Range Bank executive vice president.

Wood said there were several economic factors that went into the failures of Silicon Valley Bank in California and Signature Bank in New York. He said U.P. banks have a different business model. Community banks will invest locally, compared to risky start-ups or overseas loans.

“We’ve had a very strong start to the year as far as the performance of loans. We are not seeing people behind on payments at this point. I think that is a good sign for our economy in the Upper Peninsula,” Wood said.

Banks encourage customers to research their ratings online.

“You’ll find that the banks in the Upper Peninsula, especially the community banks, even across the state of Michigan are very well rated. We are very strong. We are as strong as we’ve been in decades. Those are the types of things we would love to be able to say to our customers,” said Scott Beaudry, Upper Peninsula State Bank CFO & executive vice president.

Beaudry has more than 30 years of experience in banking, and he said local banks are integral parts of small communities.

“We can hear what is going on in the communities so we can focus our development efforts,” Beaudry said.

Beaudry said when the community succeeds, the local banks succeed.