First Bank of Berne plans purchase of AmericanTrust

    Officials of First Bank of Berne (FBB) and Peru-based AmericanTrust Federal Savings Bank (ATFSB) have announced that, subject to regulatory approvals, the Berne bank will take over all assets, deposits, and properties of ATFSB late this year.
    First Bank of Berne, which has $426 million in assets, plans to add ATFSB's $83 million in assets and $84 million in deposits.
    ATFSB is based in Peru and has branches in Kokomo and Bunker Hill.
    FBB has two offices in Berne, two offices in Decatur, and other branches in Bluffton, Portland, and Van Wert, Ohio.
    First Bank of Berne President and Chief Executive Officer Kent Liechty said in making the announcement, "We are extremely pleased to have the opportunity to expand our market presence into north-central Indiana. We are proud of the contribution our employees make to our communities and we plan to continue that commitment to the Peru, Kokomo, and Bunker Hill communities.
    "As an employee-owned bank, we realize the importance of remaining close to our customers and building lifetime relationships. We are well-capitalized and eager to serve the unique loan, investment, and deposit needs of each community."
    Donald Cates, president of AmericanTrust Federal Savings Bank, said in a statement, "While the bank's name will be changing, our employees' commitment to providing unmatched customer service will remain the same. First Bank of Berne will provide expanded product and service opportunities for our customers."
    First Bank of Berne was created in 1891; AmericanTrust started in 1886.