Independence Bank began as First Security Bank in 1973 with one branch in Havre, Montana. It was formed by a group of local business people who saw a need for a community bank that could serve their area. Over the past fifty years, Independence Bank has grown to ten locations with 140+ full-time employees serving the communities in North Central Montana while providing expertise in agriculture lending.
Independence Bank services an area beginning along the Rocky Mountain Front in the west, encompassing the Golden Triangle south to Great Falls as you move east to Havre, the bank’s headquarters, and extending east along Highway 2 to the North Dakota border. Commonly referred to as the “Hi- Line,” the bank’s footprint extends approximately 450 miles. Within this area, a diverse production of commodities is raised annually including barley in the west, pulse crops in the east, with wheat, cattle and forage crops intermingled throughout. The Hi-Line’s economy is heavily reliant upon agriculture and Independence Bank is proud to partner with producers who call Northern Montana home.
Independence Bank offers a wide variety of lending products. The bank provides lines of credit to help cover operating costs throughout the year until commodities are liquidated.
In addition, term loans are used to purchase machinery, equipment, cattle, improvements, and real estate. Repayment schedules vary as every Ag operation is unique. Lenders feel it is important to pay down debt accordingly, as the agriculture industry has few constants. Borrowers need to be in a financial position to weather the next storm.
The bank also partners with the Farm Service Agency (FSA) to provide loans that assist borrowers who may not have the capital to obtain typical bank financing. Utilizing FSA’s beginning farmer loan program has been a wonderful way to help young producers purchase real estate and grow family operations.
The future of agriculture is bright. Our local producers help feed the world and will be counted on to continue to do so. There will always be uncertainties and the unforeseen. Commodity prices will be volatile, input costs will fluctuate, and interest rates will rise and fall. This is recognized at Independence Bank and they look forward to standing beside Montana’s resilient producers in the years to come. They look to finance the next generation and the generation after that.
The bank is fortunate to employ numerous individuals that grew up along the Hi-Line, including many agricultural lenders that truly do understand all facets of production agriculture in Northern Montana. They have seen it firsthand. Couple this knowledge with Independence Bank’s unwavering commitment to customer service; the Lenders provide a tailored relationship committed to the long-term well-being of an Ag operation.
Matt Wertheimer, Chief Lending Officer states, “If our borrowers are successful, we will be successful. Our successes are then passed on to our communities through numerous avenues, both monetarily and physically. Our employees understand the importance of being actively involved in our communities and they volunteer countless hours of their time and expertise. We enjoy giving back to the communities in which we live and see the positive impact gained by helping our neighbors.”
Independence Bank is committed to mutually beneficial outcomes with clients and offers full services to their customers with the latest technology and personal customer service. In Ag, every situation and season is unique. That’s why they offer flexibility and stability in our ever-changing agricultural landscape. Celebrating fifty years, Independence Bank’s team of local lenders is here for your success.
We Support Montana Ag. LET’S TALK. For more information, visit ibyourbank.com.