Level One Bank was created by a team of local business leaders and passionate bankers who believed in a better way to bank. Committed to the vision, many left their positions at larger financial institutions to build something new, something better. These entrepreneurs recognized the need for a bank that could provide the sophisticated products of a big bank with the local decision making and personal service of a community bank.
When we opened our doors in October 2007, the economy was on the precipice of a significant downturn and the banking industry was laden with mergers and acquisitions. Area banks were being acquired by larger regional banks, and as a result the business community was left without the option and benefits of local banking. Our founders believed local banks play a key role in the vitality of our community and the growth of local businesses. We positioned ourselves to meet the needs of our clients by listening and learning about them individually with a consultative approach. A stark contrast from the product pushing approach used at large financial institutions.
During the calamity of the Great Recession, Level One Bank was willing and able to meet the needs of clients who were often turned away by regional banks unwilling to provide credit to local businesses and individuals. Organic growth was augmented by strategies to acquire banks the FDIC was closing due to the stress of the recession. We acquired Michigan Heritage Bank in 2009 and shortly after Paramount Bank in 2010.
Rapid growth continued as we strengthened our core business, building a solid foundation in commercial banking, retail banking and mortgage lending while expanding our product suite and staffing model. We acquired Lotus Bank in 2015 and Bank of Michigan in 2016 – propelling us over the threshold of $1.0 billion in assets.
Our success has been recognized locally and nationally. We've been honored as Community Lender of the Year and Export Finance Lender of the Year by the SBA, one of SNL Financial's Top 100 Performing Community Banks, Inc. Magazine's list of 5,000 Fastest Growing Private Companies in America, one of Metro Detroit's 101 Best & Brightest Companies to Work For, one of American Banker Magazine's Best Banks to Work For and more.
Today, we are a full-service commercial and consumer bank. As we continue to grow, we remain committed to community banking and fulfilling our vision of providing a better way to bank for our clients and communities. Our bankers are experienced, enthusiastic, and entrepreneurial. We are confident in our ability to provide a better way to bank for our clients. We welcome you to visit with us and enjoy the experience of banking with Level One!