WATFORD CITY, N.D. First International Bank & Trust said it has successfully closed on the acquisition of Sodak Home Loans, a full-service mortgage brokerage company in Sioux Falls, S.D.

The company made the announcement on Monday, March 1.

“We are thrilled to welcome the team at Sodak Home Loans to FIBT,” Justin Walseth, chief growth officer for FIBT, said in the announcement. “Their established and well-known lenders will be wonderful ambassadors for the FIBT brand.”

Being backed by a community bank will allow the bank’s lenders to better serve its customers with a wider range of products and enhanced services, according to the company.

The mortgage group will stay at its current location near 57th and Western in Sioux Falls. The acquisition of Sodak Home Loans assets marks the North Dakota-based bank's official entry into South Dakota as a loan production office.

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Family-owned for four generations, FIBT traces its history to Farmer’s State Bank in Arnegard, North Dakota, which opened for business on May 1, 1910. Brothers Odin and Gerhard Stenehjem were the only employees. Today, Stenehjem bankers continue to lead FIBT operating offices in North Dakota, Minnesota, Arizona, and now South Dakota employing over 700 people in the communities it serves.

“Today is the starting point of a long-term commitment to the Sioux Falls market,” said Peter Stenehjem, president and fourth-generation banker. “I look forward to expanding FIBT's services for businesses and consumers alike and playing a part in supporting the growth of this vibrant city and region.”