Parent company of Wells Federal to merge with another bank

Published 10:34 pm Thursday, August 17, 2017

The parent company of Wells Federal Bank will soon merge with another organization.

The completion of the merger of Wells Financial Corp. and Citizens Community Bancorp Inc. is expected to be formally announced soon.

The impact of the merger on jobs involving customer interaction will be negligible, and continuity in employees who interact with customers is expected, said Stephen Bianchi, Citizens Community Federal Bank president and CEO. Job losses are expected in staff function positions where there are redundancies, Bianchi said. He did not say how many jobs are expected to be lost in the transition, but said employees who lose their jobs in the transition are able to pursue openings in other branches.

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The merger — valued at $39.8 million — is expected to leave the combined company in excess of $934 million in total assets. All regulatory requirements have been completed, and a date for the closing of the merger has not been publicly announced.

The name of the merged bank is expected to be CCF Bank.

Bianchi said Citizens Community Federal Bank offers similar services to Wells Federal Bank and provides one-to-four family mortgages, as well as agriculture, commercial real estate and business banking services. The bank is expected to keep Wells Insurance Agency and retain mortgage servicing.

Bianchi said the organization will offer the newest technology possible, and branches are still expected to be an important part of the bank.

“We think we are well-positioned,” he said.

Established in 1938, Citizens Community Federal Bank has locations in Oakdale, Red Wing, Faribault and Mankato, as well as in Wisconsin and Michigan.

Wells Federal Bank was organized by a group of Wells business leaders in 1934 and has since expanded to have full-service offices in Wells, Albert Lea, Blue Earth, Mankato, Fairmont, St. Peter, Owatonna, Minnesota Lake and St. James.

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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