CLEVELAND, Ohio — In three weeks, Huntington Bank will take its final big step in its purchase of FirstMerit Corp.

The mega-deal, which elevated Huntington to one of the 20 largest banks in the nation, became final last summer. But customers of Akron-based FirstMerit have had to continue using FirstMerit branches, online banking and other services.

That changes Tuesday, Feb. 21 when:

  • 39 FirstMerit and Huntington branches in Northeast Ohio will close.
  • About 270 FirstMerit branches companywide will convert to Huntington.
  • FirstMerit customers will be able to start using Huntington branches, including those in Giant Eagle and Meijer stores.
  • FirstMerit systems and products will shift to Huntington.

Huntington is Greater Cleveland’s fifth-largest bank by share of deposits; FirstMerit is the sixth-largest. The new merged bank will catapult as high as No. 2, behind only KeyCorp, with about 14 percent of this region’s deposits.

The conversion is intentionally planned for President’s Day weekend. All FirstMerit branches will be closed Saturday through Monday, Feb. 18, Feb. 19 and Feb. 20. That will allow the signage and systems to be converted at the opening of business on Feb. 21.

Huntington branches will be open their normal hours that weekend: Open on Saturday but closed on President’s Day. In-store branches will be open normal hours on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Also that weekend, about 100 FirstMerit and Huntington branches will close. Most are FirstMerit branches. In Greater Cleveland, 29 will close. In the Akron area, 10 will close. Companywide, that will leave 1,035 branches, all under the Huntington name.

Locally, everything is going smoothly so far, said Sean Richardson, president of Huntington’s Greater Cleveland region.

Successful conversion will rely on “a tremendous amount” of communication and technology, Richardson said. Whenever there’s a bank merger, it’s dicey whether all accounts and online access will be switched over without incident. That’s what Huntington is aiming for.

The transition should also be relatively seamless for customers, he said, because Huntington has retained “a great deal” of branch Savoybetting workers who deal with customers in person, he said.

The $3.4 billion merger strengthens Huntington and makes it more likely the Columbus-based bank remains independent and based in Ohio. (There had long been speculation that FirstMerit was going to move to Chicago.)

In addition, FirstMerit customers will benefit from having access to a larger branch network, including in-store branches that are open longer daily and weekend hours, Richardson said. And customers are embracing Huntington’s “fair-play” philosophy that includes 24-hour grace periods on overdrafts and fewer fees than many other banks.

A few other transition points for FirstMerit customers:

  • People who get direct deposits do not need to do anything. Direct deposits are supposed to continue without interruption after Huntington notifies entities of new account numbers.
  • People who have debit cards should get new ones before Feb. 17.
  • Customers who use online banking and bill pay should be able to continue using their accounts seamlessly; bill payees and scheduled payments will be transferred.
  • People with credit cards should receive new Huntington credit cards in late February.
  • Mortgage systems will convert on March 4.
  • Deposit account and routing numbers will change Feb. 21. But for those with non-Huntington checks, they can continue to use them and then order new Huntington checks when the old checks run out.

All Huntington and FirstMerit customers whose “home” branch is closing were notified by mail in November, said spokesman Bill Eiler. They were provided with information about the three closest branches to their home. 

The local branches that will close to consolidate with another branch are:


FirstMerit branches being closed: 15

22835 Chagrin Blvd., Beachwood

430 Northfield Road, Bedford

550 E Royalton Road, Broadview Heights

25 W Prospect Ave., Cleveland

11427 Euclid Ave., Cleveland

80 Severance Circle, Cleveland Heights

5646 Transportation Blvd., Garfield Heights

5710 Mayfield Road, Lyndhurst

7220 Pearl Road, Middleburg Heights

5393 Ridge Road, Parma

21114 Center Ridge Road, Rocky River

3505 Lee Road, Shaker Heights

33113 Aurora Road, Solon

11654 Pearl Road, Strongsville

801 Crocker Road, Westlake

Huntington branches being closed: 1

14481 Cedar Road, South Euclid  


FirstMerit branches being closed: 3

14894 N. State Ave., Middlefield

8389 Mayfield Road, Chesterland

8555 Tanglewood Square, Chagrin Falls

Huntington branches being closed: 1

540 Water S., Chardon  


Huntington branches being closed: 3

6550 N. Ridge Road, Madison

7720 Mentor Ave., Mentor

58 S. Park Place, Painesville

FirstMerit branches being closed: 0


FirstMerit branches being closed: 1

36000 Detroit Road, Avon

Huntington branches being closed: 1

457 Avon Belden Road, Avon Lake


FirstMerit branches being closed: 1

102 Main St., Wadsworth

Huntington branches closed: 2

1065 N. Court St., Suite C, Medina

3630 Center Road, Brunswick

Huntington had planned to close a FirstMerit branch 888 Lake Ave. in Ashtabula but later decided to keep it open. 

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