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First Independent Bank and United Southwest Bank Announce Merger

 First Independent Bank, Russell MN, and United Southwest Bank, Cottonwood MN announced the signing of an agreement to merge. Completion of the transaction, which is currently expected to occur by the end of 2021, is contingent upon regulatory approval.

United Southwest Bank has been part of the Adrian C. Golberg family business since 1972. It was originally named Empire State Bank, with its main office in Cottonwood and a branch in Hanley Falls.  In 1990, Adrian began as a partner in Vesta State Bank, which later opened a branch in Marshall in 1993.  In 1997, Empire State Bank and Vesta State Bank merged to form United Southwest Bank. As of August 31, 2021, United Southwest Bank has $58 million in assets.

United Southwest Bank President Greg Golberg stated, “I am extremely excited to merge with First Independent Bank. They are committed to serving our small communities and will offer our customers additional products, technologies, and services we don’t currently offer.  Our customers will still be able to see a familiar face with First Independent Bank’s commitment to retain our valued employees.”

First Independent Bank is a family and employee-owned bank with 8 locations in southwest Minnesota and $375 million in assets. First Independent is a strong agricultural and business lender in its communities, offering SBA, FSA, Farmer Mac, and Rural Finance Authority financing. In addition, First Independent Bank is a leader in financing 1-4 family loans.

Bruce Pogatchnik, President of First Independent Bank, stated, “Combining United Southwest Bank with First Independent Bank offers us the opportunity to grow our bank within its existing marketplace.” Our goal is to make this transition as seamless as possible and to start offering expanded services to the United Southwest Bank customers.

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