First Financial cuts ribbon on new location


By Ryan Berry

UNION CITY, Ind. — “We believe in Union City.” Those are the words bank customers see as they enter First Financial Bank’s newly opened Union City Financial Center at 211 W. Pearl St., Union City, Ind. The company was previously doing business down the street on the Ohio side, but recently remodeled a larger building they already owned, which allowed them to expand the opportunities Union City area residents can receive. A ribbon cutting celebration was held on Tuesday, Jan. 24.

According to Mark Exterkamp, chief retail officer for First Financial Bank, the move expands the capabilities the bank is able to offer in Union City. “This has been a very fun project to watch,” he said. “We not only want to be in Union City, but we want to be here in a bigger way.” The new location offers free Wi-Fi, a reservable conference room for community use during banking hours, 24-hour ATM, mortgage specialists, preferred banking, financial wellness, small business specialists and more.

Exterkamp explained, “We’re excited about this location and we’ve done it in other communities. It’s not just a full-service bank; you can do everything here – you can get your check cashed, have the coin counter. We have all of the full-service bank function, but we’ve now laid it on top of what we have been calling more of engagement type hub.” He said customers will see a much-improved drive-thru with the technology they are using. It will also be capable of having 24-hour service.

Union City, Ind. Mayor Chad Spence said, “What’s really cool about what First Financial did is when they knew this was imminent, they reached out to me and said we’d love to have you over to our, at that time, current location and talk to you about what’s happening. They were very respectful in that sense. They understood what it means to be community. They did not just want to jump ship from one place to the other and leave the other place high and dry and be like, ‘Oh, we got our place now we are good.’ They understand community. They understand how important it is to build community and that means not just individuals and families, that means even the structures in our community to make them vibrant, to make them whole. Because of their generosity, because of their respect, because of their foresight, we are actually on a very aggressive path in obtaining that structure and bringing Union City together – Ohio and Indiana – from a municipal perspective.” Although not official, he called it a “monumental step for a small community split by an imaginary line for over 150 years.” He praised First Financial for helping “grease the skids to help make that possible.”

First Financial Bancorp is based in Cincinnati and primarily operated in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois. Additional information about the company, including its products, services and banking locations, is available at

To contact Daily Advocate Editor Ryan Berry, email [email protected].

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