The Park National Bank. A Newark, Ohio Powerhouse

The Park National Bank in Newark, Ohio is not an obvious $1.7  billion dollar business. It’s building is modest for a bank established in 1908 and it’s numerous offices are spread out to for easy access to customer. The employees handle themselves in much the manner that I remember banks doing years ago. They don’t have that used car salesman buddy-buddy act that I’ve seen at other places. They’re simply professional bankers.

You have to dig a little to find out what The Park National Bank is up to. With fast rising assets in a down economy, curiosity got the best of me, and I did a few searches. I was surprised to find over 2900 properties under Park National’s name on the tax roles at The Licking County Auditor’s website. This did not take into account of their numerous subsidiaries. Most of the properties were empty lots. You can make many assumptions and guesses from a finding like this. Judging from the areas these lots were in, I’d have a guess where a few new neighborhoods will be going.

With unemployment on a steady rise at over 11% in the county, how does Park National continue to grow? They’re not investing in Newark. They’re funding massive projects like the Manhattan Harbor project.  They’re going where the money is and that is not at home. They’ve turned down local manufacturers, like armor manufacture Composix, in favor of taxpayer and bond funded projects.

There’s probably much more to this quiet giant, but banking is not my specialty. I think it is a good idea to watch where their money flows. Don’t let the unassuming main office and numerous little offices fool you.  I’m not saying this much money and power with one company is bad or good, I’m saying they’re very powerful.