The Decorah Bank & Cresco Bank Story

A Message from Leadership

Greetings!  The books are closed for 2016 and we just finished preparing thousands of tax notices for interest paid and earned. 2016 was a solid year for the bank. Following are some highlights.

If you look around town there is quite a bit happening! The Bank is an active partner in many of the projects you see. These projects don’t happen without entrepreneurs with a vision and a willingness to put their capital at risk.  We are proud to support these projects and their owners investing in their future.

The basics of banking haven’t changed. We gather deposits from many and lend those out to people, businesses and farms. The spread between what we earn and pay is our margin. Our margin covers our overhead and risk and provides a profit. We also earn fees from managing money and other assets and underwriting and servicing home loans. We were fortunate to grow a little in all areas in 2016 which is healthy growth.

Agriculture is a big part of our local economy and our farmers are working through a second year of low commodity prices which slows their spending and investing. There is no telling how long a down cycle will last. Factors include weather, global trade, politics and more. We’re having lots of productive discussions with our farm customers about how to adjust through this cycle.

The Bank saw many big projects in 2016. We re-issued over 7,000 debit cards featuring the new chip technology.  This was an important project for us because it is a more secure way of using debit cards. This should help protect our customers and the bank by reducing fraud cases and loss. Of course fraudsters are adapting and have found new ways to commit financial crime. It’s a good idea to remain vigilant in who you trust. We’re here to help!

A logo refresh and new website was another undertaking for us last year. Our classic diamond has served us well and now we added a little color for more energy and combined the look in both Decorah and Cresco. This move provides us some efficiencies and a combined website. Decorah Bank and Cresco Bank are one, but each proudly carries the name of the community it serves which we think is important.

We thank you for banking with us. We know there are many options for banking and financial services. Just like shopping locally stimulates our community, provides jobs and supports families, so too does banking locally. We employ over 90 employee-owners (through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan) who are active in our community.

In 2017 we will bring you real-time technology, mobile payments, two more ag bankers offering crop insurance, an expanded home mortgage team offering mobile and online application technology, and continued wealth management services.

Our doors are always open! We recognize the ease and speed of electronic banking and communication, but know that there will always be a live person here ready to greet you with a smile.

Thanks again and we wish you a healthy and prosperous 2017!

More than Your Traditional Bank

Our Philosophy

Because we are not owned by outside investors who are typically interested in next quarters’ earnings, we are able to think differently. The bank is owned by the Grimstad family and its employees through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan so the decisions we make are long term in nature. There is no need to focus on short term earnings because the bank is not for sale. We believe that by treating our customers and employees fairly and with respect they deserve, the bank will prosper in the long run.

Banking, like all other industries, has become competitive. We understand that we must provide excellent service, convenience, competitive pricing and services to maintain customer relationships. We make every effort to do this, while also doing our part to help the community prosper. Our bank, directors, officers, and employees are committed to giving back to the community by offering their time, talent, and resources to many worthy causes. Our goal is to add value to our client relationships by identifying their needs and then helping them reach their goals.

Being a good steward of our environment is one of our core values. Since the 1990’s we’ve learned how to take better care of our environment at home and in the work place. People started to take notice and since then we share what we learn and do along the way. Today, we have our own energy loan specialists on staff to finance energy saving and renewable energy projects.

Our History

  • Chartered by the State of Iowa in 1935, Decorah Bank & Trust Company was started by a group of Decorah citizens as Security Trust and Savings Bank.
  • During its first year, the bank was sold to a bank liquidator named Ray Kaster, who successfully managed it for the next 24 years.
  • In 1960, Harold Grimstad purchased the bank and changed its name to Security Bank & Trust Company.
  • In 1978, Larry Grimstad, Harold’s son, managed and in 2000, the bank changed its name to Decorah Bank & Trust Company.
  • In 2000 and 2002, Ben and Joseph Grimstad joined the organization and became the third generation of Grimstads and continue to manage the bank.
  • In 2007, Cresco Bank & Trust Co. became a division of Decorah Bank & Trust Co. Donna Thomas is serving as the bank president of the Cresco location and has been employed at the bank since 1981.

Contact us directly at (563) 382-9661 or (563) 547-2244
to see how we can help you.