Great Western Bank Merging With First Interstate Bank
First Interstate BancSystem, Inc., parent company of First Interstate Bank, announced on Feb. 1 that it has completed its previously announced merger with Great Western Bancorp, Inc., parent company of Great Western Bank. The combined holding company will operate under the First Interstate name and brand with the company’s headquarters remaining in Billings, Mont.
“This is an historic day for our 54-year-old company,” said Kevin Riley, FIBK President and CEO. “We are excited for this partnership with Great Western and believe our expansion into this new footprint will continue to build shareholder value over the long-term. As a result of this transaction, First Interstate truly becomes the premier community banking franchise in the West.”
Immediately following the closing, Great Western Bank was merged with and into First Interstate Bank. Great Western Bank branches will continue to operate under the Great Western Bank name as a division of First Interstate Bank.
The conversion of bank systems and branches is expected to occur in May 2022. After this conversion, Great Western Bank branches will be branded as First Interstate Bank branches, including the location in Glenwood at 201 S. Locust St.
Over the coming months, FIBK will provide GWB clients with comprehensive information relating to the conversion of their accounts in May 2022. Until then, FIBK and GWB clients will continue to be served through their respective branches, websites, and mobile apps.
Riley said it will be business as usual over the next three months for customers who bank at the branch in Glenwood.
“From today until May 2022, the Great Western Bank branch in Glenwood will remain as they are but will operate as a division of First Interstate Bank,” he said. “Over the next three months, activities to change Great Western systems to First Interstate systems will be underway, and on Monday, May 23, Great Western locations will open their doors under the First Interstate brand.
“Between now and May 20, Glenwood’s Great Western clients will begin receiving communications detailing how their accounts will switch over to First Interstate accounts. First Interstate is working to ensure a smooth and painless transition process for all clients during this merger.”
Riley said most Great Western Bank employees will be retained after the merger is complete.
“Leaders from both banks have worked together to comprehensively review the current and future business needs of the combined company. Unfortunately, there is some duplication in roles and responsibilities as we combine our teams into one, which means dedicated employees from both companies will depart as a result,” said Riley. “That said, the majority of Great Western Bank employees will be retained as part of the combined company. Any employees not remaining with the company will receive severance and outplacement services.”