Local Morris, MN Bank to Join Dacotah Bank
MORRIS, MN — Paul Ersted, president of United Farmers & Merchants State Bank, in Morris, Minnesota and Rod Fouberg, chairman of the board of Dacotah Banks, Inc. (DBI) of Aberdeen, South Dakota have jointly announced they have entered into a Letter of Intent which provides for the local Morris bank and its Chokio branch to be acquired by the South Dakota firm.
Ersted says Dacotah Bank has a similar history as his family-owned bank and will provide good synergy for United Farmers & Merchants State Bank customers and employees. “We celebrated our 100th anniversary last year as an independent community bank. Dacotah Bank, too, is an independent community banking organization with roots in the upper Midwest dating back to the late 1800s.”
Dacotah Bank currently serves customers with 31 hometown locations in North Dakota and South Dakota. United Farmers & Merchants State Bank’s Morris and Chokio locations will be the company’s first Minnesota locations according to Fouberg. “Minnesota has always been attractive to Dacotah Bank for a variety of reasons. We are the nation’s 18th largest agricultural lender and west central Minnesota is home to great Ag producers and agri-businesses.”
Fouberg went on to emphasize the bank’s focus on all clients, “In addition, Dacotah Bank looks forward to working with consumers and owners of all local businesses. We believe we are small enough to provide great customer service and large enough to service most banking needs.”
Another similarity between the two banks is insurance services. United Farmers & Merchants State Bank provides insurance to policyholders in the community areas of Morris, Chokio, and Donnelly, MN. Since 1960 Dacotah Insurance has been serving families, business owners, and farmers and ranchers. Today there are 14 Trusted Choice independent Dacotah Insurance agencies located at Dacotah Banks throughout Dacotah Territory.
In addition to the two bank locations in Morris and Chokio, United Farmers & Merchants State Bank provides ATM services to clients at two off-site locations. Similarly, Dacotah Bank provides ATMs to customers at more than two dozen bank and off-site locations. Dacotah Bank is also a member of two surcharge-free ATM networks giving customers totally free ATM access at nearly 80,000 ATMs in the U.S. and abroad.
Ersted outlined some of the employee and customer benefits Dacotah Bank will bring to the Stevens County market. “Our history is parallel and our focus on customer service is a high priority for both organizations. The expanded mortgage lending functions and trust services from Dacotah Bank will complement our existing core business of banking and insurance.”
Morris is home to the University of Minnesota, Morris, a liberal arts college. Dacotah Bank has close relationships with public schools, parochial schools, technical schools, and universities in the communities it serves. Dacotah Bank locations with higher education campuses include Minot, Rolla, Dickinson, and Valley City in North Dakota; Rapid City, Sioux Falls, Brookings, Watertown, and Aberdeen in South Dakota.
According to Fouberg, management of both banks have agreed to terms in general but have not yet executed a formal purchase agreement. In addition, “Regulatory review and approval is a requirement of any such agreement and due diligence will be performed so our two organizations get to know each other better prior to any technology conversion or modifications to products and services for the benefit of our new customers.”
United Farmers & Merchants Sate Bank can be found online at www.ufmsb.org.