There are 51 banks listed on page 7 of this issue. Each had more than a 55% increase in deposits during the first half of 2020. Unlike the last time we published a list like this (JRN 37:27), we omitted de novo banks (any established in 2018 or later) this time around. This deposit growth is either organic (tortoise) or a result of acquisition (hare). First let’s look at the tortoise, (# 2 on the list) which is aptly named: Turtle Mountain.
5-Star Turtle Mountain State Bank, Belcourt, ND is one of just 17 Native American Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) operating in the U.S. today. Turtle Mountain State Bank opened its doors in 2007 on the Turtle Mountain Reservation in North Dakota. It was the first bank on a U.S. reservation to be privately owned by American Indians, rather than a tribe or an outside company. Prior to its opening, tribal members had to travel at least 10-20 miles to find a full-service bank branch.
With an initial capitalization of $3.8 million, Turtle Mountain State Bank has been slow and steady in its growth. In fact, it still operates out of a single office and drive-thru. In the second quarter of 2020 alone, however, its assets grew from less than $40 million to almost $97 million. It reported $4.193 million in 20 outstanding Paycheck Protection Program Loans (PPP) at June 30th. We imagine its 11 employees have been quite busy during the past several months... and will remain that way until the loans are forgiven (or paid, as the case may be).
Once everything is back to normal, we would expect Turtle Mountain State Bank will return to its slow and steady strategy. But its main focus will remain the same: to take care of its community.
In terms of first half deposit growth, Turtle Mountain was bested by just one bank: 5-Star Points West Community Bank, Windsor, CO. At June 30th, Points West reported 987 PPP loans outstanding totaling more than $53 million, but that’s not what propelled its growth 200%. That was accomplished by acquisition. Hence the hare.
Since its inception in 1906 as First National Bank of Julesburg, Points West has acquired five banks, changed its name three times and moved its headquarters from Julesburg to Windsor. Its latest acquisition, however, was really more a consolidation. The holding company for Points West Community Bank merged its two affiliates into one. It was essentially a non-event for customers, as both banks had the same name. The difference is that now the combined bank is headquartered in Colorado, while its parent, First Nebraska Banks, Inc. is located next door in Nebraska.
Points West Community Bank now has 21 branches: ten in Colorado, seven in Nebraska and four in Wyoming. Don’t let the three states fool you, though. Points West continues to operate as a true community bank. From blood drives, to food bank donations, Points West is continually looking for new ways to serve its community.
All of the banks listed on page 7 are community banks and most are rated quite well. All banks that are at least 51% owned by Native Americans, including Turtle Mountain State Bank, are listed below. By nature, these are all community banks as well. All but two have earned Bauer’s highest (5-Star) Rating and all except one are recommended.