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Neighborhood National Bank announces merger

Neighborhood National Bank (NNB) of Alexandria has announced that it will merge with Peoples National Bank of Mora. The two holding companies, Douglas County Bancshares, Inc. and Peoples Bankshares, Inc., are expected to merge by June 30 pending regulatory approval, which is expected in late May. The bank merger is expected sometime in 2015, also pending regulatory approval.

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The merged holding company will operate as Peoples Bankshares, while the merged banks will conduct business under the Neighborhood National Bank name.

“Our name really fits who we are, the style in which we do business and our focus on building community,” said Del Mari Runck, president of NNB.

Runck added that very few changes are expected to take place as a result of the merger. “You will continue to see the same people and the same high level of service,” she said. “We will retain local management and continue to make our relationships with customers our top priority while continuing to support our community.

“Our focus will continue to be creating satisfied customers who enjoy the experience of doing business with us so much that they refer other business to us,” she added. Runck said the merger will allow the local bank to enhance its services.

“An added benefit of our larger size will be enhanced product options,” she explained. “As an example, Mobile Banking, currently unavailable in our product line, will be offered when the merger is complete sometime in 2015.”

Community banks across the nation are choosing to merge due to the burden of increased compliance and technology costs.

For many years, NNB, with assets of $47 million, has had shared ownership with Peoples National Bank in Mora, with assets of $161 million.

“We know that there can be tremendous efficiencies gained by sharing the same name and charter,” Runck explained of the merger. “Based on the cost of doing business today, it’s becoming more difficult for small community banks to continue to operate without sharing the significant costs of compliance and technology with another bank. And we are excited that the bank we have chosen to merge with has a very similar culture and a great passion for community banking.”

NNB opened in Alexandria in 2001. People’s Bank has branches in Crosby, Aitkin, Brainerd, North Branch and two in Mora.