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Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Independent Bank Corp. looking to expand into Ohio

In its fourth-quarter 2016 earnings call Jan. 26, Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Independent Bank Corp. said it was interested in expanding its footprint into Ohio.

The company, which has 63 offices and $2.5 billion in total assets spread across Michigan's lower peninsula, said it was looking at an office in the Akron, Ohio, suburb of Fairlawn. Independent CFO Robert Shuster said the company was "getting good traction" with staffing a potential office there, although he didn't add any additional detail.

The interest in expanding to a new market comes as the company seeks to grow its total mortgage loan originations past $700 million in 2017 "despite an expected industry-wide decline in refinanced volume." In order to do that, the company says it needs to look beyond Michigan since its only ambition for change in its home market is shifting personnel in its Troy and Dearborn offices.

"We don't have anything on the drawing board for further expansion in Michigan," Shuster said.

The majority of the company's loan portfolio is in mortgages, based on the asset breakdown disclosed in its fourth-quarter 2016 earnings report.

On the capital side, the company announced a common stock repurchase plan in addition to a tentative settlement related to checking account transaction sequencing.