In a Q&A with First Interstate CEO Kevin Riley, the May 9, 2023, edition of Nasdaq's "Spotlight on Community Banks" Features First Interstate.
"Community involvement is part of our DNA and critical to our success. That's why Commitment to Community is one of First Interstate's core values," Riley shared. "Community involvement is more than just meeting the lending needs of the community; it's giving of our time, talent, and resources to make our communities better."
First Interstate walks the walk. Each year, in addition to its Volunteer Day effort every September, First Interstate Bank commits 2% of its net income before taxes to charitable giving. In 2022, this totaled $7.8 million.
The community bank dialed it up a notch with the acquisition of Great Western Bank in 2022.
"We recognized that with growth comes a new level of responsibility to our communities. We celebrated this milestone with a $21.5 million donation to the First Interstate BancSystem Foundation," said Riley. "This donation allowed the Foundation to allocate $1 million for our inaugural Believe in Local campaign, which awarded $25,000 grants to 40 employee-nominated organizations across our footprint."
Building on that impact, First Interstate announced the launch of its 2023 Believe in Local campaign this week.
First Interstate also brings its expertise to bear by facilitating free financial education programs, including the American Banker's Associations' Teach Children to Save, Get Smart About Credit, and #BanksNeverAskThat programs, as well as a collaboration with EVERFI.
"Additionally, we introduced a new account, Simple Banking, aimed at helping those in our communities who are underbanked gain greater financial security," said Riley.
"When an account is Bank On certified, consumers know it has features they are looking for, including low or no fees, no overdraft charges, online bill pay, and other basic attributes— giving them more confidence to begin or restart their banking relationship with the right tools to manage their money."
With People First, Always as one of its core values, Riley said First Interstate's ideal client is someone who values relationships and wants a partner in their financial success.
"At our core, we are a community bank, and our philosophy of relationship banking is what helps build client loyalty," Riley affirmed. "Day in and day out, we remain consistent and true to our community banking model because it connects us to our neighbors and helps us better understand and meet their needs."