DULUTH — Park Financial Group recently announced the merger of Park State Bank, American Bank of the North and The Lake Bank. Under the flagship Park State Bank brand, the merger forms one of Minnesota’s largest community banks and grows our community bank access to 16 branch locations across the Iron Range, Duluth, the North Shore and Minneapolis.

“While our name may be changing in some communities, our commitment to our customers, communities and employees will never waiver,” said David Saber, Park State Bank Chairman and CEO. “We’re still the same local community bank our customers know and trust, now with an expanded footprint, a stronger team and an excellent line of services.”

On May 24, 2021, all branch locations officially transitioned to the Park State Bank brand, and that’s the most significant change customers could expect. The same tellers, customer service representatives and bankers they’ve always worked with are still there, ready to help customers achieve their financial goals with banking products, services and support.

Merging three banks into one takes time, strategic planning and hard work to see it through. Leadership, management, and employees throughout the newly-formed bank have worked together to ensure a seamless transition for all customers.

“Our entire team was committed to making this merger a success. We’re so fortunate to have such an incredible team of employees and such dedicated clients. This wouldn’t have been possible without them,” continued Saber.

Above all, the Park State Bank team is looking forward to serving customers throughout northern Minnesota under a unified banner, with a lineup of services designed to support customers at every stage of life. From opening a first checking and savings account to navigating a mortgage or opening a small business, the team at Park State Bank is here to help get things done on their customers’ terms.

Growing With Technology

Modern banking often happens on the go, and Park State Bank also rolled out a stronger mobile banking experience in tandem with the merger. Customers across the state will be able to access their financial information from anywhere on any device.

Behind the scenes, Park State Bank is implementing a new internal operating system to streamline operational processes and procedures. With all 16 locations operating on the same system, customers can visit any branch to accomplish their banking needs.

It’s Business as Usual - Just Bigger

Bringing three incredible banks together adds strength to Park State Bank. As a billion-dollar bank, the team can do more to help customers achieve their financial goals.

“Becoming a larger community bank will have a very positive impact on the regions we serve,” explained Rob Marwick, President, Northern Market. “We can now access our collective strength to support our communities without losing the nimble, local knowledge that is essential to serving our unique customers.”

In addition to retail banking, private banking and mortgages, Park State Bank offers sophisticated business banking services for business owners across Minnesota. And as one of Minnesota's largest community banks, the business banking team is now better positioned to help entrepreneurs grow.

The bank’s new size also comes with a larger lending limit. Park State Bank can offer and service larger commercial loans - which means greater opportunities for small business owners throughout northern Minnesota.

“We’re a relationship-based bank, and that’s never going to change,” continued Marwick.

In addition to building relationships through personal, private, mortgage and business banking services, Park State Bank is invested in the communities it serves, supporting many local organizations and encouraging employees to volunteer their time and talent in the community.

Supporting Entrepreneurs Throughout the Pandemic and Beyond

Throughout the past year, the Park State Bank and American Bank business banking teams worked on overdrive to support local business owners. Together, the banks closed just under $200M in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, many of which were literal lifelines for local entrepreneurs.

“It was a whirlwind of a year, but we’re all so glad we were able to support our small business communities,” said Shannon Benolken, Business Banking Officer at Park State Bank in Grand Rapids. “At the end of the day, small businesses are key to each community’s success.”

Across the region, business banking teams worked long hours throughout the pandemic to get essential funding into entrepreneurs’ hands. Often, a PPP loan was the difference between keeping employees on payroll or shutting doors for good.

As the pendulum begins to shift, Park State Bank’s business banking teams look forward to the extended reach and resources resulting from the merger. Teams across branches are already collaborating to support local businesses in new and innovative ways and providing connections across the region.

“Our customers value our working relationships and trust that we’ve got their best interests in mind. They’re ready for the merger, too, and excited about the new opportunities it will bring,” said Benolken.

Minnesota’s Top-Performing Community Bank

Park State Bank was founded in 1916 in Duluth and has grown steadily over the past 100+ years. As a community bank with staying power, Park State Bank is driven by relationships. Every customer matters, no matter how large or small. This mentality is a critical component of the bank’s recognition by S&P Global as the top-performing community bank for the past four years (2017-2020).

S&P Global Market Intelligence calculates scores based on pretax return on common equity, net charge-offs, efficiency ratio, adjusted Texas ratio, net interest margin and loan growth, but Park State Bank leadership credits its people, its customers and the strong relationships it has cultivated over the past 100+ years.

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