TRAVERSE CITY — Even a “merger of equals” needs only one name.

A year and nine days after merging, Chemical Bank will become be known as TCF Bank.

The conversion is official on Aug. 10, but has been in the progress since Chemical Financial Corporation, the holding company for Chemical Bank, merged with TCF Financial Corporation (Legacy TCF).

The deal closed on Aug. 1, 2019.

The new financial institution under the TCF Bank name will operate 476 branches with some 7,500 employees.

“I’m very excited to have the conversion complete,” said Scot Zimmerman, NorthEast Regional President for Chemical Bank. “It’s a big milestone in the history of the company and our ability to serve our customers.”

Zimmerman said there are 101 branches in the NorthEast region of Chemical Bank. He said the region is the northern-most portion of the the Lower Peninsula, from Bay City-Midland north of Grand Rapids.

Chemical Bank expanded its presence in the northwestern Lower Peninsula when it acquired Northwestern Bank for $121 million in a deal finalized Oct. 31, 2014.

Chemical Bank has about 200 branches in Michigan and Ohio, according to Randi Berris, Director of Corporate Communications for TCF Bank. Berris said TCF Bank has 276 branches in Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Wisconsin, South Dakota and Colorado.

TCF Legacy was headquartered in Minneapolis, but has relocated its operations after the merger.

“The new combined institution is headquartered in Detroit,” Zimmerman said.

Chemical Financial, the holding company for Chemical Bank, moved its headquarters from Midland to Detroit in 2018.

A year later and the merger between Chemical Financial Corporation and TCF Financial Corporation was announced. A 2019 release announcing what it called “a merger of equals” said Chemical Financial acquired TCF Financial in “an all-stock deal worth $3.6 billion that will create a Detroit-based bank with $45 billion in assets.”

The company announced during the 2019 merger it would combine banking platforms this summer. That work — other than the name change — began much earlier, Zimmerman said.

“They’ll see a signage change on Aug. 10,” he said. “We will change Chemical Bank name to TCF Bank throughout the state.

“All of the operational conversions have effectively occurred over the past year.”

Zimmerman said customers probably won’t notice anything different with TCF Bank other than the name outside. He said the personnel working inside Chemical Bank will be the same people working at TCF Bank on Monday.

“Everybody can continue to use the checks that they have,” Zimmerman said. “As they run out of checks and reorder, their checks will have the new logo. ATM or debit cards have been showing up in the mail the last few weeks and will continue to do so.

“It should be pretty smooth.”

Diane and Dan Walton of Kingsley do their banking with Chemical Bank and plan to stick the institution after the name change. Diane Walton said The Rock Youth Center of Kingsley, where she is the executive director, also has an account at Chemical Bank.

“We’ve been made aware of the minor changes,” Diane Walton said. “We’ll stick with them until we find out it’s not working for us.”

In the merger, Chemical Financial Corporation was the parent company, so to speak. But changing the name to TCF Bank made sense on several different levels, according to officials.

“On the surface, it had to do with the sheer number of offices,” Zimmerman said. “There were more physical branches of TCF Bank than Chemical. And the TCF name is more well known nationally and in the Midwest than Chemical Bank.”

Zimmerman said TCF Bank has a limited presence in Michigan, all in the southeastern portion of the state.

Of course, that will change officially on Aug. 10. The ‘transition’ to the the TCF Bank name will occur Aug. 8-9.

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