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Dave Olson, Published May 29 2012

State Bank & Trust changing name to Bell State Bank

FARGO – Fargo-based State Bank & Trust, which recently bought a large Twin Cities mortgage bank, is changing its name to Bell State Bank, a step that will be formally completed by late September.

State Bank & Trust will keep the tree logo long identified with its business, said bank President Michael Solberg.

Solberg said Bell is a respected name in banking in the Twin Cities area, home to many of the 28 locations of Bell Mortgage, which State Bank & Trust bought last year.

The bank purchased its first full-service bank in the Twin Cities in Golden Valley earlier this year and expects to see significant growth in the area in coming years, Solberg said.

Bell Mortgage will change its name to Bell State Bank, becoming its mortgage division.

On the name change, Solberg said the “generic” nature of State Bank & Trust has led to confusion in the marketplace and with potential customers.

“There are more than 150 banks in our markets with similar brands that include the word state in them,” Solberg said, adding that one example is Hawley, Minn., where State Bank & Trust recently purchased First National Bank and “where there is already a State Bank of Hawley in existence.”

He said name changes are nothing new for State Bank & Trust, which was founded in Fargo in 1966.

“Success and growth has mandated numerous name and logo changes to reflect an evolving organization,” Solberg said. Combining the words Bell and State, he said, will help the bank build a unique and strong identity that will be comfortable in settings large and small.

“This new name will allow us to have the best of both worlds,” Solberg said. “We have the advantage of being a larger organization that can take care of our customers’ and clients’ needs, and yet at the same time feel like a small independent bank.”

Names and logos aside, Solberg said other factors have played an even greater part in the organization’s success. Those factors will not change.

“It’s all the people that work at State Bank & Trust,” he said.

“We’re committed to focusing on having happy employees and happy customers.

“How we treat each other, how we treat our customers and how we invest in the communities is really the magic to the growth that we’ve had and we’re going to stay committed to not changing who we are,” Solberg said.

And Fargo’s role as the center of the bank’s operation is not going to change either, he said.

“We are committed to remaining a locally owned, Fargo-based business for many generations to come,” he said.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555


State Bank & Trust locations

State Bank & Trust will change its name in September to Bell State Bank. It currently has 15 locations, which are listed below. In addition, there will be two more locations, one in Dillworth and another in Hawley, Minn., at the end of September when the name change

goes into effect.

Fargo

• 2704 N. Broadway

• 3100 13th Ave. S.

• 2501 S. University Drive

• 51 Broadway

• 3545 25th St. S.

West Fargo

• 409 Sheyenne St.

• 5050 13th Ave. S.W.

Moorhead

• 1333 S. 8th St.

Wahpeton, N.D.

• 209 Dakota Ave.

Audubon, Minn.

• 385 Eagle St.

Alexandria, Minn.

• 1001 Broadway

Detroit Lakes, Minn.

• 920 Lake Ave.

Pelican Rapids, Minn.

• 15 N. Broadway

Fergus Falls, Minn.

• 205 W. Washington Ave.

Twin Cities

• The Colonnade, 5500 Wayzata Blvd., Golden Valley