WARREN - Huntington National Bank maintained its top position of local market share among local banks and even further increased its hold on the spot, according to a summary of deposits released this month by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
According to the annual report for the period ending June 30, Huntington Bank handled 21.9 percent of the deposits in the Youngstown-Warren-Boardman metropolitan statistical area. That's up from the 21.12 percent share it handled last year at this time.
The next four local market financial institutions maintained their spots, but each lost some market share.
Frank Hierro, Regional President for the Mahoning Valley, on Wednesday attributed much of that to customer service based on recommendations drawn from focus groups. That included things like eliminating certain fees, such as 24-hour grace periods on overdrafts coupled with a text or email reminder, and asterisk-free checking.
When fees like this were dropped, Hierro said he was asked, ''Aren't you going to lose income?"
''We said we will make it up in household growth, and that is what we have done,'' Hierro said.
Hierro said other conveniences the bank offers includes locations inside many area Giant Eagle stores and several new locations.
''Our focus is when you get a new customer, you retain them for the long term,'' Hierro said. ''It's pretty startling the growth that the bank has had.''
Huntington reported deposits on June 30 totaling $2.02 billion, up from $1.91 billion in 2011. The next highest deposits in the market, held by First National Bank of Pennsylvania, were reported at $1.19 billion. PNC Bank ranked third in deposits with $1.18 billion; First Place was fourth with $1.14 billion; and Home Savings and Loan Company of Youngstown ranked fifth with $908 million.
Farmers National Bank of Canfield edged up a position from seventh in 2011 when the bank reported a 7.2 percent market share to sixth this year with an 8.11 percent share of the deposits in the local market.
Farmers National president and chief executive officer John Gulas pointed out Wednesday the increase does not include July's opening of a new Howland branch, which he said he expects to further boost the bank's market share.
''We have branded ourselves, and we are committed to the community,'' Gulas said. That includes community donations and easy access to even the top executives, including Gulas himself, who says he answers his own phone.
''We are here, we are accessible. We are focused on relationships,'' Gulas said.
Total deposits in the 19 financial institutions in the Youngstown-Warren-Market grew during the year by just less than $162 million from $9.06 billion to $9.23 billion.