Sauk Valley Bank buys IB&T branches

December 20, 2018

STERLING – Sauk Valley Bank will buy the Sterling and Rock Falls Illinois Bank & Trust branches.

Sauk Valley Bank will acquire the Sterling branch at 2403 Locust St., and the business from the Rock Falls branch at 1609 First Ave., from IB&T’s parent company, Heartland Financial USA.

IB&T’s banking services in Rock Falls will be brought into the Sauk Valley Bank building at 904 First Ave., where it has been since 2007. The branch building was not included in the deal and still belongs to IBT. The Sterling building will remain open as a branch of Sauk Valley Bank. 

The branches have been through a few names changes over the last 5 years. Heartland, based in Dubuque, Iowa, bought the local banks in 2014, when they were under the Freedom Bank banner. Heartland bought them from River Valley Bancorp, a Davenport, Iowa holding company. After that acquisition, they were known as Riverside Community Bank, like IB&T a wholly-owned subsidiary of Heartland. The deal also included a Freedom Bank in Seaton, a small town in Mercer County.

Sauk Valley Bank, a homegrown community bank, was launched in 1999, in Sterling. The two IB&T branches bring about $16 million in combined deposits as of June 30.

“These two offices will be a natural fit with the geographic footprint and culture of Sauk Valley Bank, and we look forward to further building relationships in the Sterling and Rock Falls communities,” Dirk Meminger, president and CEO of Sauk Valley Bank, said in a news release.

For IB&T, however, its growth plans are taking the bank into other Illinois markets, making it necessary to reduce its number of branches in other areas. It still has eight locations in Rockford and three Jo Daviess County towns – Galena, Elizabeth and Stockton.

“Reaching this agreement with a community bank such as Sauk Valley Bank makes the most sense for our customers,” Jeff Hultman, IB&T president, said in the release.

The leadership teams of both banks will work together on customer service issues during the transition period, Meminger said.

The deal is scheduled for completion in the second quarter of next year, pending regulatory approval.

Market leader getting bigger

p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica} Sauk Valley Bank, with headquarters in Sterling, is the local market leader, with more than $415 million in assets.

It operates branches in Sterling, Rock Falls, Dixon and Harvard. It also has loan production offices in Bettendorf, Iowa and Janesville, Wisconsin.

Its services include commercial, personal, agricultural, mortgage and wealth management banking.

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