St. Cloud bank stretching into Twin Cities with new branch

St. Cloud bank stretching into Twin Cities with new branch

Norm Skalicky has had his eye on the Minneapolis/St. Paul market for some time. “We’ve been doing business in the Twin Cities for a long time and felt, when the time was right, we’d like to have a branch there. The time feels right for us,” said Skalicky, the president of St. Cloud, Minn.-based Steams Bank, National Association.

The 85-year-old, $850 million bank is no stranger to new territory. Compared to its move into Scottsdale, Ariz., in 1997, moving an hour away from the home base to the Minneapolis suburb of Edina should be a walk in the park.

“We’ve got a pretty simple business plan. We’re a business bank,” said Skalicky, who believes the bank’s success hinges on the recent rash of consolidations in the Twin Cities market. “We do the size of loans that large banks probably can’t move fast enough on and a smaller bank might not have the capacity or expertise to handle. So we have a good niche,” Skalicky said.

Skalicky said the Scottsdale bank, which has its own charter and $80 million in assets, isn’t being used as a test model for the new branch, but that the Phoenix and Twin Cities markets have become very similar. “It was the same situation in Phoenix-very much dominated by large banks. Even more so than the Twin Cities, although now the Twin Cities is pretty much the same. Both markets have quite small independent banks and large banks.”

Three former Richfield Bank and Trust lenders – Jay Stevens, Greg Duscher and Jeff Bajek – will manage the branch. Richfield Bank and Trust was purchased by the Marshall & Ilsley Corp., Milwaukee, earlier this year.

Copyright NFR Communications Inc Aug 15-Aug 31, 2002

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