Michigan bank wins bid to grow north

Independent Bank, Grand Rapids, Mich., and Traverse City State Bank, Traverse City, Mich., are combining. The transaction is anticipated to close in the first half of the year. After the closing, Traverse City State Bank will operate as Independent Bank and maintain all five of its branches. One member of Traverse City’s board of directors will join Independent’s upon completion of the transaction. [Continue]

Risk and Reward: Yankton’s First Dakota National is state powerhouse

In the mid-1980s, the majority of South Dakota’s 150 or so banks had assets of $50 million or fewer. One of those banks was the oldest bank in the state, First Dakota National Bank of Yankton, operated by Larry Ness, a former examiner with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Ness was eager to make the most of his experience, which included stints managing two other banks in the state: the Mitchell National Bank and the First National Bank of Volga. Some 30 years later, Ness has grown the Yankton bank to $1.588 billion in assets. [Continue]

What bankers can learn from the masters of the art world

The making and selling of art may not be the world’s oldest profession, but it has been a commercial endeavor for thousands of years. Western artists have been independent business people for about 500 years. What can today’s entrepreneurs in banking and other businesses learn from two of the world’s greatest artists – Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci? Both were internationally successful artists during the Italian Renaissance, each had very different ways of conducting the business of art, and each leave us with relevant business lessons. [Continue]

Leadership change at CFPB causes fracas

Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, stepped down Nov. 24. While President Trump has the right to name Cordray’s permanent replacement, an argument broke out over who would be the bureau’s interim director. [Continue]

BankBeat: A new reader experience for a storied brand

Anything that is alive has a “beat,” and we are dedicated to covering that beat in banking.  We have formally adopted the BankBeat name as an update on the NorthWestern Financial Review name for our online delivery. Later this year, this change will be reflected in our print magazine. We believe BankBeat is a better moniker for a multi-modal news organization, which not only reviews the latest banking industry developments, but analyzes them and brings intelligent information to the industry discussion table, something we’ve done under the NorthWestern Financial Review name since 1988. [Continue]

Bank honored for targeted financial education program

Old National Bank, Evansville, Ind., was honored by Wolters Kluwers for its “12 Steps to Financial Success” program, which provides much-needed financial education and financial literacy resources to members of the communities the bank serves, with a particular focus on the most at-risk members. The program began in 2014 to help incarcerated female inmates in Western Kentucky re-enter society as more educated and financially responsible citizens. Since then, the “12 Steps to Financial Success” program has steadily evolved and expanded into Indiana and Michigan. Today, the program also includes courses geared toward the financial education needs of homeless veterans. [Continue]

Bears & Blankets bring comfort

Employees of Winona National Bank, Winona, Minn., helped give comfort to those in need, delivering 539 items collected through its annual Bears & Blankets drive. Winona National collected the items Nov. 24 through Dec. 11 at its three offices. Employees delivered the items to 12 local organizations, and those organizations will distribute the items to those in need of comfort throughout the year. [Continue]

TS Bank partners with Faith’s Friends in Atlantic

TS Bank in Treynor, Iowa, donated $5,000 to Faith Friends, a non-profit organization that helps parents who lose an infant child. The organization, which is almost one year old, helps pay for funerals, headstones and burial costs to families who lose a child. The program was started in honor of Faith Bateman who died 90 minutes after being born in 2010. [Continue]