For decades, First Interstate has been part of the fabric of many hard-working towns and cities. Our belief—that community banking means so much more than simply transactions and accounts—is rooted in an approach to service centered around you.
First Interstate Bank—Built for you.
First Interstate is a community bank headquartered in Billings, Montana. With more than 150 offices across Idaho, Montana, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington, and Wyoming, we’re dedicated to helping these diverse communities reach their greatest potential—answering the needs of residents and businesses with practical financial solutions while supporting communities through business development and philanthropy.
First Interstate Bank was established on the principles and values of our founder, Homer Scott, Sr. In 1968, Mr. Scott purchased the Bank of Commerce in Sheridan, Wyoming, and began building his vision of a premier community bank committed to providing quality customer service, attracting high quality employees, and serving the local community with long-term perspective and discipline.
Mr. Scott purchased the Security Trust and Savings Bank in Billings, Montana. These two bank acquisitions formed the foundation on which our company began its notable history of sustained growth and expansion.
In 1971, Mr. Scott incorporated our company as a holding company and over the next 10 years acquired two more banks and established six de novo banks within various communities of Montana and Wyoming.
By 1981, our company had grown to 10 branches.
We entered into a franchise agreement with First Interstate Bancorp, headquartered in Los Angeles, California, in 1984 to use the "First Interstate" name in Montana and Wyoming.
In 1996, Wells Fargo acquired First Interstate Bancorp, but not our bank. Instead, we obtained an exclusive license to use the “First Interstate” name and logo in Montana, Wyoming, and the neighboring states of Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota, and North Dakota. We also purchased six banking offices—previously owned by First Interstate Bancorp—in Montana and Wyoming, bringing our total number of branches to 27.
By the end of 1999, First Interstate had grown to 42 branches through a combination of de novo start-ups and acquisitions. We also experienced significant organic growth with increases in total assets, deposits, and loans. This pattern of organic, de novo, and acquisition growth has since resulted in further expansion of our business and market areas.
In January 2008, we expanded into South Dakota by acquiring 18 banking offices pursuant to the purchase of First Western Bank.
First Interstate acquires Mountain West Financial Corp. and Absarokee Bancorporation, Inc.
In August, First Interstate acquired Flathead Bank of Bigfork, expanding our presence in Montana. In November, First Interstate signed a definitive agreement to acquire Cascade Bancorp, parent company of Bank of the Cascades, a community bank based in Bend, Oregon.
After years of using the First Interstate name through a franchise agreement, we retained the rights to use the First Interstate name and logo in all 50 states. In August, Bank of the Cascades officially became First Interstate Bank.
In April, First Interstate signed a definitive agreement to acquire Northwest Bancorporation, Inc., parent company of Inland Northwest Bank, a community bank based in Spokane, Washington— completing the acquisition in August. In October, First Interstate signed a definitive agreement to acquire Idaho Independent Bank based in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and Community 1st Bank based in Post Falls, Idaho. In November, Inland Northwest Bank officially became First Interstate Bank.
In April, Idaho Independent and Community 1st Banks joined the family, officially becoming First Interstate Bank in June. Today, we have over 150 branches throughout Idaho, Oregon, Montana, South Dakota, Washington, and Wyoming. Our history and market leadership is a result of our adherence to our company’s values and the alignment of these values among our management, directors, employees, and shareholders.
First Interstate signed a definitive agreement to partner with Great Western Bank, expanding the First Interstate franchise into eight new states. Pending regulatory and shareholder approvals, the transaction is expected to close during the first calendar quarter of 2022; the conversion of Great Western branches to First Interstate Bank is expected to take place during the second calendar quarter of 2022.
“First Interstate is, has been, and will always be a values-based company. Our values are the foundation for the relationships we have with our clients, employees, shareholders, and the communities we serve.”
David L. Jahnke, Chairman of the Board
First Interstate BancSystem, Inc