First Financial Bancorp spreads itself thick. The holding company's flagship subsidiary, First Financial Bank, operates more than 120 branches in Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky. Founded in 1863, the bank offers checking and savings accounts, money market accounts, CDs, credit cards, private banking, and wealth management services (through its First Financial Wealth Management). Commercial loans, including real estate and construction loans, make up more than 50% of First Financial's total loan portfolio; the bank also offers residential mortgage and consumer loans. First Financial Bancorp has some $6.2 billion in assets, and $43.9 billion in loans.
First Financial Bancorp's 2011 sales declined by 8% vs. 2010 on falling interest and non-interest income. The decrease in interest income was due to decrease in income from loans, including fees resulted from lower interest income earned on loans and other earning assets. The decrease in non-interest income was due to decrease in income from service charges on deposit accounts, net gains from sales of loans, and decrease in income from accelerated discount on covered loans. Indeed, the bank has seen its sales slump steeply: from nearly $675 million in 2009 to $451 million in 2011. The company net income increased more than 12% over the same period.
First Financial recently quit the Michigan and Louisville, Kentucky markets (leaving it with only a handful of branches in Kentucky), in order to focus on three core metropolitan markets: Cincinnati, Dayton, and Indianapolis. To that end, it acquired 16 branches in western Ohio from Liberty Savings Bank and bought 22 Indianapolis-area branches from Flagstar Bank in 2011. Together the two acquisitions furthered the bank's growth strategy for the key markets of Dayton and Indianapolis. Also in 2011 First Financial dissolved two subsidiaries: investment advisory group, First Financial Capital Advisors; and First Financial (OH) Statutory Trust II. – less