Bell State Bank & Trust Purchases The Business Bank, Prime Mortgage

Bell State Bank & Trust of Fargo purchased The Business Bank and its Prime Mortgage division, both based in Minneapolis, on April 1, 2013.

The purchase combines Bell, the largest independently owned bank and mortgage company in North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota, with another of the region’s largest privately held banking and mortgage companies. The Business Bank and Prime Mortgage will become part of Bell State Bank & Trust and its Bell Mortgage division.

“We are excited about this new partnership,” said The Business Bank CEO Brad Krohn. “We look forward to a smooth transition for our customers, thanks to the remarkable similarities in our cultures and philosophies.”

Bell State Bank & Trust president Michael Solberg added that the purchase has been a win-win situation from the start. “We look forward to many great years of growth and success,” Solberg said. “We are creating a strong banking and mortgage presence in the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota, with the capability to serve more and more consumers, businesses, realtors and builders in the region.”

The Business Bank, with total assets of $200 million, was organized in Minnetonka, Minn., in 2000 with a focus on small business lending. Prime Mortgage was founded in 1986 and joined The Business Bank in 2007. The company has more than 200 employees at 15 offices in Minnesota and a satellite location in Naples, Florida.

Bell State Bank & Trust has more than 750 employees at 18 full-service banking locations in Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo, Wahpeton, N.D., and the Minnesota lakes area; trust offices in Fargo, Bismarck and Boise, Idaho; and multiple Bell Mortgage offices in the Twin Cities area and Phoenix, Ariz. Chartered in 1966, the bank has assets totaling more than $2.6 billion.

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