"We started discussions with Dan about joining together, because it was such an obvious fit for First American to become part of our family of community banks," said Fishback. "We were attracted to First American because of the quality of its management and employees and the way they serve their customers in each city." With the acquisition, the name of the bank will change to First Bank & Trust.
Culey added, "The Fishback family has been a pioneer banking family since the 1880's. We are excited to be part of an organization that has proven for over 125 years to be fundamentally committed to community banking. It's a great opportunity for our employees to grow with a family oriented, South Dakota bank."
With the acquisition, which still requires FMB shareholder and regulatory approval, Fishback Financial Corporation is projected to be the largest South Dakota owned bank holding company with assets of almost $1.3 billion.
"Our strategy continues to focus on markets along the I-29 corridor, which we believe is an economic engine for eastern South Dakota," Fishback said. "Adding four significant markets along the corridor allows us to expand our service to the region".
Both Culey and Fishback agreed that communities are best served by bankers who are responsive and empowered to make decisions locally.
"Residents of Madison, Watertown, Sioux Falls and Canton can expect to continue to find bankers who are knowledgeable, involved and committed to each community's prosperity," added Culey.
The transaction is set to close in early 2006. Fishback Financial Corporation is currently the parent company of First Bank & Trust, Brookings, with branches in Garretson and Vermillion, Community State Bank, Milbank, and its branch in Stockholm, First Bank of White, and First National Bank, Pipestone, Minnesota.
FFC also owns various non-banking subsidiaries involved in providing additional financial products and services locally and across the country. With this addition, the Fishback organization will operate from 15 full service banking locations across eastern South Dakota and southwest Minnesota.