Magazine article American Banker

North Dakota Juggling Act; Bank Keeps Busy Buying, Selling, and Starting Up

Magazine article American Banker

North Dakota Juggling Act; Bank Keeps Busy Buying, Selling, and Starting Up

Article excerpt

BNC Corp. of Bismarck, N.D., is not a do-nothing bank.

The $175 million-asset company is selling one of its three banks - including a branch it's in the process of buying - while acquiring six branches and planning a start-up in the competitive Minneapolis market.

Also, it has just completed an initial public offering.

"I'm extraordinarily excited," said president and chief financial officer Gregory K. Cleveland. "We're doing a lot of things at one time. The thing I like about that is all of the costs are being washed through in two quarterly time periods."

However, one observer questioned the company's full plate.

"It's a pretty aggressive strategy for a bank that size," said a bank consultant who did not want to be named. "As far as what the overall plan is, that's anybody's guess. To pick up some Metropolitan (Federal Bank) branches in some of these small communities and sell a bank, I'm not sure what they're trying to achieve."

But Mr. Cleveland said the company's plans are clear cut.

BNC is selling one of its three banks, Farmers and Merchants Bank of Beach, to Community First Bankshares, Fargo, for about $3.9 million.

The bank is on the western end of BNC's North Dakota market and the company's expansion plans lie to the east, he said.

The transaction is expected to close at the end of September.

In mid-August, BNC plans to acquire seven branches with $111 million in deposits from the former Metropolitan Federal Bank, now part of First Bank System, for about $4. …

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