A North Dakota bank to open Golden Valley branch

  • Article by: JENNIFER BJORHUS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 14, 2012 - 8:37 PM

•State Bank & Trust already does significant local business and will open a full-service location in Golden Valley.

A major North Dakota bank is moving into the Twin Cities.

Fargo-based State Bank & Trust said Tuesday that it will open its first full-service Twin Cities bank location this spring in the Colonnade near Interstate 394 and Hwy. 100 in Golden Valley, pending regulatory approvals.

While relatively unknown to the general public, the $2 billion-asset, family-owned bank already does about 20 percent of its business in the Twin Cities. It has worked for several years with smaller community banks in the area buying and selling portions of loans, said Todd Lee, the bank's new Twin Cities managing director.

The bank also has a wealth management division with $3 billion in assets under management.

Lee, a former partner at Briggs and Morgan in Minneapolis, left the law firm to head the new 10-person operation. The bank will focus on commercial lending, private lending and residential mortgage through St. Louis Park-based Bell Mortgage, which it acquired in 2010.

"We're going to be hiring a lot of great bankers," Lee said.

State Bank & Trust has several other branches in Minnesota including Moorhead, Detroit Lakes and Fergus Falls. It's become a major small business lender in the state and has operated a correspondent bank business in the Twin Cities, purchasing parts of loans originated by other, smaller banks.

The bank had profits of $18.9 million through the end of September last year, up 40 percent from a year earlier. Lee said it is owned by the Solberg and Snortland families of North Dakota.

Bell Mortgage, which has 28 locations around the Twin Cities, will maintain its offices separately.

Lee said he expects that the bank will open other locations around the Twin Cities. "We're going to see where this project takes us," he said.

Jennifer Bjorhus • 612-673-4683

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