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Bank may change hands again

There is more change in the works for a Rosemount bank that has already changed names once this year.

Central Bank, which in April took over operation of Rosemount National Bank, has entered into a purchase agreement to sell its Rosemount branch to Merchants Bank in a deal that includes more than $19 million in deposit relationships and the bank building. Central Bank will retain most of the bank's loans. The deal is pending approval from regulators. The deal should close by late fall, if it is approved.

Central Bank took over the operation of Rosemount National's operations in Rosemount and St. Paul after the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency ordered the bank to close. That closure took place after the bank lost a lot of money due to unsafe lending practices.

The purchase is a strategic move for Merchants Bank to fill a gap in the area, bank communications officer Mark Metzler said. There are Merchants branches in Apple Valley, Cottage Grove, Lakeville, Hampton, Cannon Falls and Red Wing.

"Acquiring the bank strengthens our presence in the southern metro and provides greater convenience to our current and future customers," Merchants Bank president and CEO Richard Mahoney said in a press release. "We look forward to serving the needs of the customers in Rosemount."

Assuming the sale happens, Metzler said customers can expect a fairly seamless transition and friendly service at the bank branch. Merchant intends to maintain as much of the current staff as possible.

While some customers may be wary from the frequent changes this year, Metzler said it is Merchants' intention to own the bank for a long time.

Metzler said that Merchants is a healthy bank that has weathered the recession well because of its conservative practices.

This is the second time Merchants has purchased a bank from Central, said Metzler. Last year Merchants bought a bank in Spring Grove from Central.

Merchants Bank was founded in Winona in 1875 and currently includes 17 other locations in Minnesota and west-Central Wisconsin.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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