Decorah Bank & Trust Company’s mission is to help its customers achieve their dreams. The Bank is family and employee owned through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). Employee-owners have a vested interest in the long-term viability of the Bank and the community it serves. Decorah Bank is a $500 million community bank serving a mix of agriculture, business, and individuals in Northeast Iowa.
The Bank was formed in 1935 and purchased by the Grimstad family in 1960. Today, the third generation of the Grimstad family is involved in leadership of the Bank. In 1987 a minority block of stock was sold to a newly formed ESOP so that employees could participate in the success of the Bank. This has served the Bank well in increasing employee engagement. The Bank has three locations in the cities of Decorah and Cresco (using the name Cresco Bank & Trust Co.) in rural Northeast Iowa. In addition to $500 million in bank assets, the Bank’s Wealth Management division manages approximately $400 million in assets for others. The Bank was named among the top 1% community banks by the Institute for Extraordinary Banking the past three years recognizing employee culture, financial performance, philanthropy, and innovation.
Decorah Bank is governed by an eight member Board of Directors. Five directors are independent members of the community and 3 are Bank employee-owners. Ben Grimstad is CEO and Board Chairman.
Market Focus, Products and Services
Decorah Bank is the leading provider of home mortgage in its market. The Bank offers both long-term fixed rate loans through Freddie Mac which it services, and portfolio loans for self-employed and non-traditional borrowers. The Bank also leads the way in small business lending to locally owned businesses.
Northeast Iowa is rich in fertile soils and agriculture is the leading industry in this landscape, so a third of bank business is in agriculture, including crop and livestock production. In 2000, the Bank started a Trust business since the next closest Trust office is 50 miles away; this addition has grown both Trust and Investment services.
Greenpenny, a digital branch for the planet
Greenpenny is a digital-only branch of Decorah Bank & Trust Co. and was created to make it easy for U.S. residents to be environmentally responsible. Greenpenny is designed to be a form of crowdfunding for the advancement of clean and renewable energy.
Greenpenny serves people who are concerned with climate change and wish to support a values-based bank that uses deposits to finance clean and renewable energy projects. Money deposited in greenpenny finances energy projects as they are available.
Where you bank matters
People can make a difference by keeping their money in a bank with values that create a more breathable planet and a better banking world – all while earning interest on deposits in a greenpenny CD, Checking or Savings Account.
A commitment to living in an accountable, sustainable, and supportive financial model guides everything greenpenny does, from our partnership with 1% for the Planet, and our work with the Global Alliance for Banking on Values, to our own internal environmental practices. We know that doing the right thing is not always easy, but we believe in doing it anyway.
The Story Behind greenpenny
It all started in 2000, when leaders of Decorah Bank & Trust Co, located in Decorah, Iowa, became more concerned with providing a healthier environment for its customers and employees.
As family and employee-owned Decorah Bank evolved into an energy-responsible leader in the business community, the Bank began measuring its carbon footprint and achieved carbon neutrality in 2019.
“As the climate movement progresses, people are looking for ways they can do their part to help support the use of clean energy. Because of our long-standing values, it seems natural to offer tech-based greenpenny to serve a community of like-minded individuals beyond Northeast Iowa,” states CEO Ben Grimstad.
Benefits of being part of GABV
Decorah Bank has always put customers and community ahead of shareholders when making decisions. More recently the Bank has become a leader in NE Iowa in promoting clean renewable energy and practices to combat climate change. The Bank has financed over 100 solar projects, invested itself in solar, and in 2019 became carbon neutral. Decorah Bank is committed to finding more ways to use finance as a way to promote sustainable practices to create a healthier environment for all. Understanding the Bank is only as strong as its community, it is heavily involved in community projects and non-profit leadership and consistently reinvests 5% of annual profits back into the community.