Exchange State Bank branches into LuverneLUVERNE — Thank goodness they’re local.
By: Laura Grevas, Worthington Daily Globe
LUVERNE — Thank goodness they’re local.
The Hills-based Exchange State Bank is more than 1,300 miles from Wall Street — and when executives opened a Luverne branch in the face of a plunging stock market last month, they were just fine with that.
“We try to do as much as we can for local customers and lend our money out locally. We try to avoid turmoil on Wall Street by working with people we know and developing relationships that way,” said Ryan DeBates, vice president of Exchange State Bank and manager of the Luverne branch that opened Sept. 8. “People have been made more aware of their banking relationships, they’re more aware of what they carry depositwise and more in tune with looking for FDIC coverage,” he said.
“This last economic package passed by the house and senate could trigger people to move to the Luverne office and put their deposit in so it’s insured,” added Tim Plimpton, vice-president of the bank. The Exchange State Bank is a member of the FDIC, which insures deposits up to $100,000.
The bank already has branches in Hills, Ellsworth, Hardwick and Steen, but several years ago they made the decision to open a Luverne branch to provide a more centralized location for their customers.
“We also want to give the people other than our current customers another choice in Luverne,” Plimpton said, “We’re the one and only locally-owned bank in Luverne.”
Workers from Design Craft broke ground on the Luverne building in November of 2007, and the bank employees hosted an open house Oct. 2, which drew more than 1,000 curious citizens.
“People in the Luverne community saw the bank building going up through the whole year of construction; I think they were excited to come in and see what we actually had built,” DeBates said.
The branch has six employees, four full-time and two part-time. In addition to your run-of-the-mill banking services, the branch offers online banking and lines of credit for agriculture real estate loans. For local business owners, they offer Remote Deposit free of charge. Remote Deposit allows businesses to deposit checks they receive by running them through a bank-provided scanner in the business itself.
“It allows them to be virtually almost anywhere and make the deposit with us,” DeBates explained. “Before we moved to Luverne we had businesses that were using it and they really like it; it allows the business to retain the checks.”
He said employees also pride themselves on their ability to give quick, locally-made decisions on loan applications.
“We’re here to be competitive, to give people the answer they need right away,” said Plimpton. “We’re here to be one of the family-owned banks in the Rock County area.”