State Bank & Trust Changes Name After Entering Twin Cities

The Fargo-based bank last year acquired Minneapolis-based Bell Mortgage, and it now plans to change its name to capitalize on the brand recognition of the Bell name in the Twin Cities market.

State Bank & Trust on Tuesday announced that it will change its name to Bell State Bank this fall.

Fargo-based State Bank & Trust was founded in 1966 and bills itself as “the largest independently owned bank in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota.” It currently operates 15 branches, has more than $2.2 billion in bank assets, and has more than $3 billion in assets under management by its wealth management division.

In January 2011, the bank entered the Twin Cities market when it acquired Bell Mortgage—a 130-year-old Minneapolis-based mortgage company with 28 offices, including locations in the Twin Cities; Bozeman, Montana; and Phoenix.

In March, State Bank & Trust then expanded its local presence when it acquired First National Bank in Hawley and one month later opened a branch in Golden Valley, marking its first banking branch in the Twin Cities market.

State Bank & Trust plans to change its name on legal documents and disclosures, external signage, letterhead, and other “essential materials” by late September and transition the remaining elements during the first quarter of next year. The rebranded bank will retain State Bank & Trust’s logo, which features several trees inside a circle.

State Bank & Trust is changing its name in part to capitalize on the brand recognition of the Bell name in the Twin Cities market. President Michael Solberg said in a statement that there are more than 150 banks in the Dakotas and Minnesota that have the word “state” in their names, and “the generic nature of the State Bank & Trust name has led to confusion in the marketplace and for our potential customers.”

Solberg said that the new name combines the brands of both State Bank & Trust and Bell Mortgage, adding that the Bell name is “well recognized and respected in the Twin Cities market, where we expect to see significant growth in the coming years.”

During its 46-year history, State Bank & Trust has changed its name and logo several times. To view the bank’s historical logos, click here.