DEFIANCE, Ohio, April 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- First Defiance Financial Corp. (Nasdaq: FDEF) hosted its annual meeting of shareholders on April 20 at the company's Operations Center in Defiance. William J. Small, Chairman, President and CEO, reviewed the company's 2009 achievements and challenges as well as current issues facing the financial industry. Donald P. Hileman, EVP and CFO, provided details on the company's financial performance in 2009 and first quarter of 2010.
Mr. Small noted that 2009 was one of the most difficult years in history for the banking industry. However, despite the unprecedented economic conditions, First Defiance ended the year in a solid position by following its basic, conservative business plan. Deposit growth, record-breaking mortgage loan volume, strong core fundamentals and the maintenance of net interest margin were the keys to success. The bank grew deposits to $1.6 billion, originated over $500 million in mortgage loans and consolidated assets grew to $2.06 billion at March 31, 2010. Small noted that First Federal Bank is the largest community bank based in northwest Ohio.
Mr. Small also reviewed the regulatory environment and its impact on financial institutions, and expressed optimism for the future. "We are seeing signs of stabilization in the marketplace, and we will continue to focus on core deposit growth, asset quality and expense control in 2010," Small said. "Our core fundamentals are strong, we are well-capitalized and we have the people in place to take First Federal Bank successfully through 2010 and beyond."
In the business portion of the meeting, shareholders re-elected four directors for three-year terms expiring at the annual meeting in 2013: John L. Bookmyer, who was appointed as a director in 2005; Peter A. Diehl, appointed as a director in 1997; Stephen L. Boomer, appointed in 1994; and William J. Small, who has been a director since 1998. Shareholders also approved a non-binding advisory vote on First Defiance's executive compensation and approved the adoption of First Defiance's 2010 Equity Incentive Plan.About First Defiance Financial Corp. First Defiance Financial Corp., headquartered in Defiance, Ohio, is the holding company for First Federal Bank of the Midwest and First Insurance & Investments. First Federal operates 33 full service branches and 45 ATM locations in northwest Ohio, southeast Michigan and Fort Wayne, Indiana. First Insurance & Investments specializes in property and casualty and group health and life insurance, with offices in Defiance and Bowling Green, Ohio. For more information, visit the company's website at www.fdef.com . SOURCE First Defiance Financial Corp.