Our Different Model

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By Stu McDaniel

At First International Bank & Trust, we are able to trace our roots to a single, family-owned, small-town institution. More than 100 years later, the appearance of the business has changed, but the way in which we conduct business has not. First International Bank & Trust has grown to 26 locations and continues to be owned and managed by the Stenehjem family. Being active in the day-to-day operations of the institution, the Stenehjem family continues to embrace the personalized, small-town philosophy one should expect from their local bank.

We are a relationship-driven institution that is able to provide complete financial solutions for our customers. Our customer-centric culture is what has propelled us to financial success at First International Bank & Trust. This culture has developed partnerships and banking relationships that have spanned generations. With the ability to provide a wide range of products and services including trust, insurance and investment products, we are the only institution for many of our customers.

First International Bank & Trust
Fargo, N.D.
ROAA in 2015: 2.0 percent
ROAE in 2015: 21.94 percent
Assets: $2.1 billion
Retail locations: 26
Employees: 510
Founded: 1910
Website: www.firstintlbank.com

At First International Bank & Trust, we take great pride in our ability to empower our employees to be an active part of the decision-making process as a way to provide the best possible service to our customers. We want to provide our customers with answers quickly. We deviate from our competitors by providing branch autonomy and provide a work environment that promotes individual contributions in support of our overall mission: Helping Dreams Come True, One Customer at a Time.

Knowing that community banks are the cornerstones of their local markets, we understand the importance of giving back. This comes not only in the form of donations, but in the form of volunteer work as well. First International Bank & Trust encourages our employees to be active in our communities and provides avenues for our employees to volunteer in the areas in which we serve. These events serve not only as great ways to help our communities, but as team-building exercises for our staff as well.

At First International Bank & Trust, we believe the future in community banking is full of opportunities and challenges alike. Community banks have a tremendous opportunity to capitalize on the general displeasure consumers have toward the megabanks. We simply have a different model. We will always hold the competitive advantage of personalized service and will be able to provide this service at a level that money-center banks will never be able to match. And although the regulatory environment will continue to challenge us as community bankers, we are confident our industry will continue to provide the foundations for vibrant, successful communities.


Stu McDaniel is assistant vice president and investment officer for First International Bank & Trust.