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State Bank and Trust announces name change

Leaders at State Bank and Trust have announced their intention to rebrand the locally owned community bank as Bell State Bank.

The company plans to retain the identifying mark of the State Bank and Trust tree logo, which is long established and widely recognized in the region.

Jeff Restad, president of State Bank and Trust in Alexandria, said the change is a good one.

"With more than 150 banks in our region having similar brands with 'state' in the name of their bank, we felt it was time to make a change to eliminate confusion," he said. "In Alexandria we will see no change in the way we do business. In September you'll see the name change on the sign out front but the same philosophy of 'happy employees - happy customers!' will remain. We are committed to continue the great culture we have enjoyed over the years for generations to come."

Founded in 1966 and headquartered in Fargo, North Dakota, State Bank and Trust is the largest independently owned bank in North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota.

"It is exciting to grow in new markets and new lines of business," said State Bank and Trust President Michael Solberg.

Branding on legal documents and disclosures, external signage, letterhead and other essential materials will change by late September. Conversion of additional materials will be phased in through the first quarter of 2013.

Last year, State Bank and Trust purchased leading Twin Cities lender Bell Mortgage. Since its founding in 1880 by early Minneapolis leader David Bell, Bell Mortgage has gained more than half a million family mortgages.

"We have an advantage in rebranding," said Solberg. "We have two names - Bell Mortgage and State Bank - that mean a lot to all of us in our company. Combined, they unite two strong companies and brands to build a unique identity.

"Bell State Bank is easy to spell, say and remember, and Bell is a name that is well recognized and respected in the Twin Cities market, where we expect to see significant growth in the coming years."

State Bank and Trust's major divisions for mortgage, wealth management and investments will also take on the Bell State name as "divisions of Bell State Bank."