North Shore Bank of Commerce selling Cloquet branchNorth Shore Bank of Commerce is selling its Cloquet branch office to the Northwoods Credit Union.
By: Candace Renalls, Duluth News Tribune
North Shore Bank of Commerce is selling its Cloquet branch office to the Northwoods Credit Union.
The sale includes the bank’s building at 902 Stanley Ave. along with the branch’s deposits and safety deposit boxes, said Ken Johnson, North Shore’s chief operating officer.
“The loans we are keeping,” he said.
The branch’s customers who have checking, savings, certificates of deposit and safety deposit boxes will be automatically transferred to the credit union unless they notify the bank before the sale closing date, expected to be July 20.
The bank’s other branches in Hermantown and Duluth’s downtown, Lakeside and Woodland neighborhoods won’t be affected, Johnson said.
He said the sale isn’t out of necessity, it’s a good business move for both the bank and the credit union.
“It seemed to be a better fit for them, a perfect fit,” Johnson said.
The bank’s Cloquet branch has been open eight years. It has just under 800 customers, significantly less than North Shore’s other four locations in Duluth and Hermantown, he said.
“Quite honestly, it never really measured up to our expectations in that location,” he said.
At the same time, Northwoods Credit Union, with locations in Carlton and Cloquet, has been looking to expand with another location in Cloquet.
“Business has been good,” said Barb Brown, the credit union’s president. “We’re growing. We wanted to be more visible in the community. We were glad this opportunity came up.”
With the credit union’s office near the Sappi Fine Paper mill in Cloquet, the credit union was looking to open a site on the other side of town. The credit union was going to build an office next to the North Shore Bank of Commerce. Then the opportunity came up to buy the building, Brown said.
Talks began in February with an agreement reached in March, she said.
“They presented us with an offer,” Johnson said. “They liked our location, and they liked our building. It seemed like a good business decision for both parties.”
“It was a win-win,” Brown agreed.
Notification letters went out to the bank’s Cloquet branch customers in March, Johnson said.
The credit union will hire three employees for the new branch, Brown said. Johnson said no bank jobs will be lost. One of the branch’s seven employees will go to work for the credit union. The rest have been offered other positions with the bank.
The sale is awaiting final approval by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and National Credit Union Administration, their industry regulators. The public can comment until June 4 by writing to the FDIC regional director at 1100 Walnut St., Suite 2100, Kansas City, MO, 64106.