Cornerstone Bank continued with the consolidation of family-owned Nebraska banks Wednesday, saying it has agreed to buy Bank of Marquette for undisclosed terms.
The deal includes Bank of Marquette's Ferguson Insurance Agency, Kelly Holthus, chief executive of York-based Cornerstone Bank, said in a statement.
The acquisition of the one- office bank will bring Cornerstone's total branches to 34, up from 19 branches 10 years ago. Cornerstone, with $1.3 billion of assets, has made a business out of acquiring small Nebraska banks with family ownership looking to exit an industry with increasing legal, compliance and regulatory costs.
Bank of Marquette, about 130 miles west of Omaha, has assets of $35 million, with deposits of $28 million and loans of $16 million, Cornerstone Bank said. The purchase is subject to regulatory approval; closing is expected in the first quarter of 2014.
Holthus said no personnel changes are expected at Bank of Marquette, owned by President John Ferguson.
“After 50 years in the business he thought that it is now the time to devote himself to family and other interests,” Holthus said.
Holthus has said Cornerstone has been acquiring about a bank a year and plans to keep up the pace. Cornerstone ranks 11th in state deposit share with about 2 percent; Omaha's First National Bank leads with 27.5 percent.
This month, the financial industry trade paper American Banker reported that Nebraska has 205 banks operating in its borders, many more than in more populated states with a consolidated banking industry and more centralized population centers. The paper predicted that no large banks will be interested in consolidating Nebraska's far-flung empire of small, one-branch banks.
And there are plenty out there from which to choose. According to Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. figures, there are 65 Nebraska banks with between about 0.2 percent and about 2 percent of state deposits, and dozens of others have a lesser share.