State Bank system to merge

Fargo-Moorhead's three State Bank corporations will become State Bank & Trust on Sept. 1, corporate officials confirmed Tuesday.

The change will trim regulatory costs and help position the privately held banking corporation for expansion beyond the metro area, said Dick Solberg, president of State Bank of Fargo.

Approval for the name change has been received from both Minnesota and North Dakota regulators, Solberg said. Formal regulatory approval for the merger is expected in coming weeks.

Solberg is also president of State Bankshares, the holding company that now runs the banks and Northern Capital Trust.

At the end of the year, Northern Capital Trust will also be merged into State Bank & Trust, Solberg said.


Customers should see no change in service at the eight affiliated metro bank locations, Solberg said.

No personnel changes are expected, he said. Dave Canton and Neil Qualey will remain presidents of the banks in West Fargo and Moorhead, respectively.

The three banks have more than 300 full- and part-time employees in their metro offices.

Northern Capital Trust has more than 60 employees, Solberg said. The State Banks have combined assets of more than $900 million.

"We market the three banks combined now. A lot of people don't even know we have three separate banking corporations. This will just add some efficiencies to the bank," Solberg said.

The banks also have mortgage and loan operations in Detroit Lakes, Pelican Rapids and Alexandria, all in Minnesota, which also won't be affected by the merger.

While the banks are not "in an acquisition mode" right now, Solberg said removing city names from the bank title makes growth more acceptable in outlying cities.

"We're starting to do a lot of business outside the metro area," Solberg said. "But our intentions are to be Fargo-based and locally owned forever."


The public comment period on the merger ends July 15, said Robert J. Entringer, secretary for the North Dakota Banking Board and assistant commissioner in the Department of Financial Institutions.

Then the banking board votes on the merger, perhaps by July 17.

Minnesota approved the merger June 10, said Kevin Murphy, deputy commissioner for financial institutions in the Minnesota Department of Commerce.

A message seeking the position of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was not returned by the agency's public affairs office in Washington, D.C., Tuesday.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Helmut Schmidt at (701) 241-5583

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