Will County Treasurer Steve Weber, CPA, accounted today that his office has selected MB Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ: MBFI) to process the office’s $314-million retail lockbox operation through 2020. Under the three year agreement, MB Financial will process 178,000 items as part of the county’s property tax collection. MB Financial also will accept property tax payments at all branch locations in Illinois.

On the benefits of the agreement, Steve Weber, Will County Treasurer, said:

This is the largest financial deal our office has ever negotiated. We effectively have cut in half the cost of a core banking service by leveraging the size of the assignment to get a better price.

On the strategy of reviewing banking services, Weber said:

Like any business, banking partnerships get in the weeds. They focus on the day-to-day, the NSF check or a problem with a deposit. By reviewing every agreement in our office, we look at every process at a higher level. What can we do better? Does someone have a better price? These are questions every business should ask from time to time. As you can see, our review helped us find better services at a better price for taxpayers.

On the partnership with MB Financial, Weber, said:

MB Financial has been a strong partner for several years. They proactively address our needs and help find solutions to many of our pressing problems. We are excited to expand our partnership with MB Financial.

On the partnership with Will County, Mark Hoppe, President and CEO, MB Financial, said:

Chicagoland has been MB Financial Bank’s hometown for over 100 years, and our priorities remain focused on providing local communities, like Will County, the stability and resources needed to accomplish their important goals. We are very excited about the expanded partnership.

Retail Lockbox Service

At the center of this agreement is the retail lockbox service that processes property tax payments mailed to the Will County Collector. Retail lockbox services are low dollar, high volume payment channels for check and remittance stubs. When taxpayers mail their payments to the county, the lockbox service captures those payments automatically. They then provide transaction detail to the Treasurer’s office so those payments can be credited to property owners.

Leveraging High Volume for Lower Cost

In 2015, the retail lockbox processed 97,506 payment coupons worth $313,287,100. The service, first offered by the Treasurer’s Office in 2006, is the second largest property tax payment channel behind mortgage escrow payments.

Because lockbox payments represent 17.6% of Will County’s $1.77-billion property tax levy, the Treasurer’s Office and MB Financial developed a fee structure that will allow the Treasurer to free $9-million in deposits used to offset bank fees. MB Financial also will pay higher interest on money market funds already on deposit.

Finally, MB Financial will add fraud protection to all of the Treasurer’s bank accounts. These anti-fraud measures range from ACH Blocking to Positive Pay among others. Together, they protect against the most advanced forms of bank fraud and wire fraud perpetrated today.

About MB Financial, Inc.

MB Financial, Inc. is the Chicago-based holding company for MB Financial Bank, N.A., which has approximately $19-billion in assets and more than one hundred year history of building deep and lasting relationships with middle-market companies and individuals. MB offers a full range of powerful financial solutions and the expertise and experience of bankers who are focused on their clients’ success. MB Financial Bank is a wholly owned subsidiary of MB Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ: MBFI).

About the Will County Treasurer’s Office

The Will County Treasurer’s Office is the county’s bank. They receive tax revenue and other funds, and distribute that money according to the law. The office also manages long-term debt, pays bills, and invests cash.

As County Treasurer, Steve Weber (R-Mokena) provides reliable banking services for county agencies, secure investment of your tax dollars, and trustworthy accounting services that provide transparency for county residents. The office has a staff of 21 employees.

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