RCU to buy eastern Minnesota bank

EAU CLAIRE — Royal Credit Union is buying a bank that has five branches in eastern Minnesota.

The Eau Claire-based credit union announced last week that it had entered into a definitive agreement to buy Lake Area Bank to increase office accessibility for RCU’s existing members in Minnesota and serve more people in the region.

Founded in 1915 in Lindstrom, Minn., Lake Area Bank still has an office in its hometown plus locations in Forest Lake, Hugo, Stillwater and White Bear Lake.

RCU will assume about $500 million in total assets in the transaction, according to terms of the agreement.

Pending customary closing conditions including regulatory approval, the acquisition is expected to be completed in early 2022.

This is the second acquisition RCU has announced this year. In June, the local credit union stated that Medford-based Peoples Choice Credit Union would merge into RCU this summer.

Short takes

• Frandsen Bank & Trust hired Ben Franko to be vice president/business banker at its Eau Claire office at 4251 Southtowne Drive. His duties will include the bank’s continued development and expansion of commercial lending in the Eau Claire area. Franko has 17 years of banking experience, most recently working as assistant vice president and mortgage lender at Merchants Bank in Eau Claire.

From staff reports