Farmers State Bank has opened a new full service branch off Hutton Ranch Road in Kalispell.
The branch is opening about a year after the bank made its first foray into the valley, said Kalispell market president Tim Willis.
Willis first joined the organization a year ago when he moved to Kalispell and worked in a new one-man office off Whitefish Stage Road as a commercial lender representing Farmers State Bank. Toward the end of last year, the company added a mortgage lender, and decided soon after that the Kalispell market would be a good one to expand in.
“The bank has been looking to organically grow for a while,” Willis said.
They have now moved into their new building by Walmart and are open for new clients.
The bank has six employees, and Willis said that could increase in the coming months.
“As we grow there will be room for more employment,” Willis said. “We want to grow our staff here.”
Willis said the bank is unique in the way it values family, and those values are extended to customers.
“We’re a small, family owned operation,” Willis said. “Down-to-Earth and friendly and realistic. For employees, it’s family first and customers are seen the same way.”
He said that also allowed the bank to approach loans with a different mindset. He said if a lender felt a local client could be trusted after meeting and speaking with them, that could overrule other criteria that would tie the hands of a lender from a bigger bank.
“When it comes to underwriting loans, common sense rules,” he said.
Farmers State Bank began in 1907 in Victor in the Bitterroot Valley. The company has eight other branches throughout the Bitterroot as well as in Missoula and Helena. The bank is privately held and locally owned. It had assets of around $25 million in 2006, according to a report published by the company on its centennial.
The bank will have a grand opening celebration from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Aug. 22. It is located at 120 Hutton Ranch Road.
Reporter Peregrine Frissell can be reached at (406) 758-4438 or firstname.lastname@example.org.