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Bank in Staples closed by feds

At a time when many rural banks are thriving because of a resurgence in the farm economy, one in Staples was shut down.

First Integrity Bank NA of Staples was closed by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency on May 30, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation was named receiver.

For customers of the bank, little will change, and their money is safe.

All deposit accounts were transferred to the First International Bank & Trust in Watford City, N.D., which now has branches in Staples and Motley.

The FDIC said in a news release that all checks drawn on First Integrity accounts will be processed as normal, and all deposit accounts will be available as usual. All banking amenities like ATM cards and access to safe deposit boxes will be the same, as well.

And yes, customers who had loans with First Integrity are still required to make payments, the FDIC said.

The new owners of the bank saw the silver lining in the cloud.

"We are pleased to have the opportunity to provide complete financial services to Central Minnesota at Staples and Motley," said Dennis Walsh, regional president of First International Bank & Trust. "These offices are a perfect fit to our profile of locally managed banks that are actively involved in their respective communities."

The bank offices reopened Saturday, May 31, with uninterrupted service to all customers. Most of the existing employee team will remain and First International Bank & Trust anticipates adding additional loan staff to the team.

First International Bank & Trust is a family owned bank originally chartered in 1910 and now has 21 bank offices. There are 15 locations throughout North Dakota including four in Fargo and West Fargo and four offices in Scottsdale, Mesa and Gilbert, Ariz.

Those with possible claims against the institution of First Integrity can call (800) 568-9161.