Thursday, June 24, 2004

Citizens Bank looks beyond Campbell Co.

Branches into Boone, Kenton

By Jeff McKinney
Enquirer staff writer

Hoping to garner more loans and deposits in growing suburbs south of the Ohio River, Citizens Bank of Northern Kentucky plans to launch an aggressive branch expansion next year.

The Newport-based bank currently operates only in Campbell County, but it will add branches in Florence in Boone County and Independence in Kenton County by late 2005.

Citizens Bank also next month will celebrate the expansion of its Bellevue branch, a nearly $1 million renovation.

Citizens Bank has five branches in Campbell County, with assets of $175 million and another $150 million in deposits. Citizens Bank is a unit of Citizens Bancorp Inc. That company is owned by shareholders, but the company's stock is not publicly traded.

David Van Horn, president and CEO, said the bank must add more branches in a more competitive environment, .

Some of the larger banks with operations in Greater Cincinnati also have big plans to expand in Northern Kentucky.

Those include Fifth Third, Provident, U.S. Bank, PNC, Huntington, Key and the Bank of Kentucky, all of which are building branches or expect to add ones in Boone, Kenton or Campbell counties in the next two years.

Van Horn said his bank hopes to boost lending and deposits in Florence and Independence, areas that are expected to experience strong residential and commercial development.

"We're looking for the rooftops," he said. "We want to increase residential lending and bring in more deposits in those areas."

Van Horn said the bank is expanding its Bellevue branch because of residential and commercial development that's occurring along the riverfront in Newport and Bellevue.

Van Horn said the bank hopes to open its branch in Florence by early next year and the one in Independence by later in the year.



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