South Dakota bank expands in Minnesota

First Bank & Trust, Brookings, S.D., is buying two Minnesota banks operating under one holding company: Peoples Bank of Commerce, and State Bank of New Prague, both owned by the Duke Financial Group, Minneapolis. The $296 million Peoples Bank of Commerce is based in Cambridge and has branches in Princeton, East Bethel, Edina and Roseville. State Bank of New Prague has one location and assets of $112 million. The name of both banks will change to First Bank & Trust.

“When considering an acquisition our strategy has been to focus on banks in and around growing markets,” said Kevin Tetzlaff, president of First Bank.

“Our values are strongly aligned, which will make it easier to integrate our banks,” said David Hyduke, chairman of Duke Financial.

David Waligoske, president and CEO of Fishback Financial Corporation, the holding company that owns First Bank, said the acquisition will enable the bank to better compete regionally. “Our staff has ownership through our ESOP and we believe this employee ownership creates an additional level of pride,” Waligoske said.

The transaction is set to close later this year. The $2.3 billion First Bank has 16 locations and has been around since 1880 when South Dakota entrepreneur Horace Fishback, along with his uncle, Bert Olds, began a check cashing station at the back of a general store. In 1925, Security National Bank became the Fishback’s first independent community bank, which today is First Bank & Trust. Through four generations of Fishbacks, the bank remains family owned. Van Fishback serves as chairman of the board and Bob Fishback as director.