On January 31, 1920, the Citizens National Bank opened its doors for the first time in Bluffton, Ohio, and offered all new customers an apple in appreciation for stopping by. A review of the books from 1920 indicates that the bank began with $50,000 in capital and approximately four employees.
Now, 99 years later, we have expanded our offices to Celina, Defiance, Elida, Findlay, Lima, Springfield, Toledo, and Van Wert. We currently employ about 170 people and serve customers in eleven primary counties: Allen, Hancock, Putnam, Hardin, Auglaize, Mercer, Van Wert, Paulding, Clark, Defiance and Lucas.
Against the backdrop of low inflation and slow economic growth Citizens National Bank produced another record year in 2017, highlighted by strong loan growth and increases in core deposit funding.
New products, such as Instant Issue of debit and credit cards and our CardValet app for debit and credit cards, aid our customers in managing their finances. Instant Issue allows a customer to walk out of the branch with a new ready-to-use card if they lose it or have it stolen. This eliminates the stress and disruption of the traditional wait time of 5-10 business days when they needed to be ordered and sent to the customer's home. The CardValet app is also now available for credit cards in additon to debit cards, allowing customers to receive immediate alerts on card transactions and turn their cards on and off on the go for added security.
As we look forward, we will continue to focus on providing services that make it easier for our customers to bank with us. Payroll services will allow us to take care of employee payroll and quarterly tax payments, saving owners time and staffing costs. We are investigating online applications for personal checking and savings accounts so customers may easily open and fund their account right from our website. We will also be launching CreditSense - a product that integrates with our online and mobile banking to offer you up-to-date credit scores every time you log in. We are also excited to offer mobile wallet options by the end of the year, including Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Android Pay. The way people choose to pay is changing and we're committed to making it as easy as possible for our customers.
Citizens continues to experience consistent growth. Additionally we have added on to our Operations Center, located in Bluffton, in order to provide support for our growing sales staff. In the last 10 years our total assets have grown from $400 million to more than $810 million. This success is due to the confidence our customers have in our ability to provide them innovative products and solid performance.
We continue to focus on our website and social media, providing more content and frequent updates about our services through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube. We encourage our customers to also subscribe to our CNB Connection and Executive email newsletters and web video series.