First Commercial Bank CEO and President Departs

Bradley Meier, who has served as president and CEO of First Commercial Bank since 2003, left the bank earlier this month.

Bloomington-based Commercial Bancshares, Inc., recently announced the departure of Bradley Meier, president and CEO of the company's subsidiary, First Commercial Bank.

Jeff Betchwars, who serves as director of the boards of both Commercial Bancshares and First Commercial Bank, will act as liaison between the board and the bank's staff.

Betchwars declined to comment on Meier's departure and instead e-mailed a statement, which states that the bank's board of directors “will fill the role of CEO and manage the bank through its senior executive officers until a new president is named.”

Meier had led First Commercial Bank since December 2003. The bank said only that Meier left on November 18 “to pursue other interests.”

According to data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, First Commercial Bank operates a single office in Bloomington, and it was established in 1999.

The bank had $323.69 million in assets as of September 30, down from $368.47 million at the same time last year. It reported a pre-tax net operating income loss of $7.7 million for the first nine months of this year, and its total risk-based capital ratio dipped to 9.95 percent for the quarter that ended September 30. Financial institutions typically need a total risk-based capital ratio of 10 percent to be considered “well-capitalized.”

Although some banks in the state saw positive indicators during the third quarter, First Commercial Bank is one of many financial institutions facing difficulties.

Total assets of Minnesota's banks dipped to $61.2 billion during the first nine months of the year from $62.2 billion during the same period a year ago, and many other indicators remained well below past levels. For instance, the 405 FDIC-insured institutions in the state together reported $186 million in year-to-date net income. That's up a bit from last year, but considerably lower than 2008-when collective net income totaled $433 million for banks in the state.