First Farmers Q3 up 9%

Loans rising steadily at Columbia-based bank

The parent company of First Farmers & Merchants Bank posted third-quarter profits of $516,000, up 9 percent from a year ago, as the community lender grew its loan book by more than $20 million during the quarter.

First Farmers, which runs 19 offices in southern Middle Tennessee, reported assets of $1.05 billion as of Sept. 30, up about 6 percent from a year ago. Deposits are up about the same amount.

“The market hasn't gotten any easier this year, but First Farmers continues to deliver strong numbers for both the year and quarter that underscore our people and philosophy are right for the times," said Randy Stevens, First Farmers chairman and CEO. "We've continued to improve and our commitment to our customers, we believe, is what separates us from other financial institutions, both large and small. It's what will help us continue to succeed and grow in this or any market."