Ohio Bank Approved To Expand Financial Services

The First National Bank of Zanesville recently gained approval from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to move into the financial planning, brokerage, insurance and annuities businesses, in a move to help expand its market presence.

The $1.2-billion-asset parent company, BancFirst Ohio Corp., recently acquired Chornyak and Associates Inc., a financial planning firm which also sells insurance but is not a full-service broker. It receives a commission, however, if customers purchase the mutual funds the planners recommend. The bank already has a trust company with insurance capabilities, but it was a small part of its business activities, mainly selling life insurance and annuities, according to chief financial officer Kim Taylor. Taylor said the trust subsidiary also offers some customers brokerage products.

"This provides a higher level of financial planning services to our customer base," he said, explaining the bank will provide the firm with its list of bank customers to solicit products, and brokers already in the bank’s branches will refer customers to the new affiliate.

Chornyak is located in Columbus, 50 miles from the Zanesville headquarters, and provides the added bonus of giving the bank additional presence in that market, where it currently has only one branch.

BancFirst acquired the financial planner by issuing 82,000 shares of stock, valued at around $2 million. The company is expected to bring in revenues in the $1.2 million-$1.6-million range.

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