Correspondent Banking

At Bell State Bank & Trust, we take pride in the lending partnerships we’ve established with more than 200 independent regional banks. We offer your bank flexible underwriting, terms and pricing on loans – plus the fast decision-making you need.

A Range of Lending & Other Services

Our correspondent bankers have worked with banks in Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming (view our regional map of lending partnerships.) We can assist banks with:

  • Participation Loans – purchasing and selling of commercial, real estate or agribusiness loans in­volving credit transactions for the purpose of resolving issues with:
    • liquidity
    • legal lending limits
    • concentration risks
  • Bank Stock, Ownership and Personal Loans
  • Bank Building Loans – for building or remodeling of corporate offices or branches
  • 401(k) Plans401k plans for banks and bank holding companies
  • Trust, Retirement and Asset ManagementPersonal trust and retirement planning (including 401(k) and pension plans), financial planning, estate planning, income planning and investment management for banks and their customers, providing these advantages:
    • Deep product base provided by respected, experi­enced money managers
    • No cross-selling of bank services will occur on our part
    • First-year fees accrued and paid to referring bankContact our correspondent bankers about your request! We can give you an indication of our interest quickly, without your loan committee sending us your full request package – that can come later. This makes your job easier and limits the time you need to spend searching for a correspondent bank.Based in Fargo, North Dakota, Bell State Bank & Trust was founded in 1966 and is the largest independently owned bank in North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota. Learn more about our bank, and you’ll like our business philosophy.

      Competing Against the Big Guys

      As a banker’s bank, we’re interested in helping other banks compete against the “big guys.” Our dedicated correspondent banking team provides you with:

      • Flexible underwriting
      • Competitive lending terms and pricing
      • Fast decision-making
      • Consistent communication

      Our correspondent banking team offers loans and services related to:

      In providing any of these services, we become the behind-the-scenes partner, helping you work in a larger relationship without threatening your relationship with your customer. We will not cross-sell other bank services to your customers.

      Participation Loans

      As your customers grow, so do their credit demands. By participating part of the relationship, you provide your customers with loan products that grow with their needs. You can enhance your loan yield by retaining a servicing fee and free up bank liquidity by selling a portion of the loan.

      We are actively looking for loan participations! Participation loans give you:

      • Greater flexibility in working with liquidity and lending limits – Purchasing and selling loans involving credit transactions helps you resolve these issues and manage the concentration risks of your loan portfolio in:
        • Commercial and industrial
        • Real estate
        • Agribusiness
      • Additional loan capacity – If you need more loans, we can sell you portions of loans we have originated.
      • Loan terms – You set the terms, we help you do the deal.
      • Confidentiality – All financial information is, of course, confidential. It is not our intent to be a commercial “player” in your market, and we will not pursue your customers for additional business.

      Generally, the lead bank retains a service fee but shares origination fees on a pro rata basis.

      Bank Stock, Ownership and Personal Loans

      We are pleased to provide funding for bank stock loans for:

      • Risk-based capital
      • Acquisitions
      • Refinancing
      • Sub S restructuring
      • ESOPs

      Typically, these types of loans feature:

      • Structure tailored to your needs – Depending on your needs, we will structure an interest-only period followed by a 10- to 12-year amortization.
      • Security – These loans are normally secured with the stock of the bank holding company, the bank or its subsidiaries.
      • Valuation – We will advance up to 50% of the book value of the outstanding stock. Advance rates may be lower on de novo banks, banks with higher risk profiles, or those with higher than average growth rates.
      • Guarantees – We generally require personal guarantees of all individuals or entities with 20% or more of the outstanding stock.

      We also offer business and personal loans to:

      • Bank owners
      • Insiders
      • Directors
      • Managers
      • Officers

      These loans may be secured or unsecured, depending on borrower qualifications. We tailor terms and conditions to fit your needs.

    Bank Building Loans

    • If you are building or remodeling a bank branch or corporate office, or if you need to leverage an existing facility, Bell State Bank & Trust can provide you with commercial real estate financing.Typically, these types of loans feature:
      • Flexible advance rates
      • Flexible amortization
      • Fixed or variable pricing
      • Commercial real estate used as security

      Our Correspondent Banking Promise to You

      In providing correspondent services, we become the behind-the-scenes partner, helping banks work in a larger relationship without threatening their customer relationship. We will not cross-sell other bank services to your customers.

      We’re interested in helping other independent community banks compete against “the big guys.” Contact our correspondent banking team for flexible underwriting, competitive rates and fast decisions.



Tom Ishaug (North Dakota, Minnesota, Idaho and Wyoming)
Correspondent Banking Manager





Gary Keller (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Eastern Iowa)
Correspondent Banker





Tracy Peterson (Southern Minnesota, Wisconsin and Arizona)
Correspondent Banker





Gene Uher (South Dakota, Southwest Minnesota, Western Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri)
Correspondent Banker


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