BankWise - February 28, 2019

“You make the economy go.

U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer speaking to community bankers at ICBM’s Day at the Capitol on Feb. 21. 


Emmer impresses at Day at the Capitol, agreement on ICBM legislative priorities

Minnesota community bankers gathered in St. Paul for ICBM’s Day at the Capitol conducted on Feb. 21. The event featured speakers like U.S. Congressman Tom Emmer; State Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka; Minnesota Department of Commerce Commissioner Steve Kelley; Senate Commerce Chair Gary Dahms, and House Commerce Chair Laurie Halverson.

Community bankers heard many of these lawmakers agree, in general terms, with ICBM’s three legislative priorities for the 2019 session.

Read our coverage of Emmer’s and other’s comments.

Minnesota banks had a good 2018

Banks in the North Star state earned $926 million in income in 2018, up from $842 million in 2017. Return on assets was 1.30 percent for the year, up from 1.18 percent in 2017. Net interest margins at the state’s banks continued their rise, with 3.91 percent for the year, up from 3.84 percent a year ago.

Here’s in-depth coverage of 2018 for Minnesota community banks.

Attend the premier Midwest Community Banking Expo!

  • Over 40 Exhibitors.
  • Expert education sessions.
  • Network with Midwest community bankers.

UBB’s Rosacker sets retirement date

Minnesota is bidding farewell to an industry giant. Bill Rosacker, longtime president and CEO of United Bankers’ Bank in Bloomington, announced he will retire at the end of April.

Rosacker took over a struggling Independent State Bank of Minnesota – the nation’s first bankers’ bank – during the height of the agricultural crisis in 1985. The bank had less $30 million in assets and fewer than 20 employees in 1985.

Under Rosacker’s guidance, the bank, which was renamed in 1993, has more than $900 million in assets and 132 employees. Its market area grew from the state of Minnesota to a geography extending from the Pacific Northwest to the Ohio Valley today, including through a merger with Great Lakes Bankers Bank in 2016.

“Bill has been a remarkable leader for an extraordinary period of time for UBB and our industry,” said Bryan Grove, chair of the United Bankers Bank board of directors. “His innovative thinking, deep understanding of risk and correspondent banking, his expansive knowledge of the community banking environment, and ability to motivate and inspire the people of UBB have defined his legacy.”

Kaplan Partners, an executive search firm, has been retained by the UBB board of directors to identify candidates to become the bank’s next president.

UBB’s Rosacker sets retirement date

Keep an eye on your mailbox—the first issue of ICBM’s newly redesigned quarterly member magazine hits desks at the beginning of March.

What makes IMPACT truly unique?

We’ve moved away from “preaching to the choir” where we find a great story about a community bank and only share it with other community banks.

Now, our feature stories bring members three different kinds of value:

Quality Marketing Services as a benefit of membership

The featured member receives marketing content that would otherwise cost them thousands to create on their own. The stories showcase just how much of an IMPACT they have in their area. 

Marketing Impact in their local area

We pitch their story to press in their city and/or region. Previous featured banks have gotten their story in front of more than 7,000 people in 66 cities and towns in their area. Again, a PR firm would charge the member thousands for just the PR generated by our feature; they get it as a benefit of membership. 

Support for the community banking story 

Featured members become examples that ICBM shares with lawmakers to educate them about community banks’ hard work, investment, and commitment to Minnesota communities. 

If your bank has a great story to tell, contact Matt Doffing at, we’d love to find a way to tell the state, lawmakers, and your customers about your bank’s unique contribution to your community.

Interested advertisers and subscribers also can contact Matt.


Faces and Places

  • The Small Business Administration is running a free mini-MBA program—do you know a small- to medium-business owner or CEO in Minnesota or North Dakota who could benefit? Send them to the SBA Emerging Leaders website.
  • Bob Vogel, New Market Bank, Elko New Market, weighed in on Gov. Tim Walz’ budget, including its “regressive” 70 percent increase in the gas tax. 
  • Congrats to ICBM member Dan Christianson of F & M Community Bank, Preston, who testified last week in front of the House Environmental and Natural Resource Finance Committee on behalf of his community.

Agriculture: Land values remain stable—for now

We could be headed for a significant correction in Midwest farmland values, ag experts and economists warn. Average Midwest land values decreased slightly from 2014-16. They stabilized somewhat in 2017 before showing signs of decline again in 2018. Low commodity prices and reduced farm profitability are largely to blame, they say.

We’re not currently headed for the dramatic declines we saw in the 1980s, but some warning signs linger which bankers and their ag customers will want to keep an eye on.

Keep reading at for those caution flags and more detail on land values.

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