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Bank sale means branch closures, layoffs

Published On: Feb 13 2014 10:32:08 AM MST
Updated On: Feb 13 2014 10:32:23 AM MST
FIRST INTERSTATE BANK BILLINGS, MT
HELENA, Mont. -

First Interstate Bank's proposed purchase of Helena-based Mountain West Bank is expected to result in some branch closures and layoffs.
    
First Interstate BancSystem Inc. executive vice president and chief financial officer Kevin Riley said Tuesday the nearly $73 million acquisition will lead to the closure of about half of Mountain West's branches.  Seven of Mountain West's dozen branches are located within a half-mile of First Interstate locations.
    
Riley says those who are laid off will receive a severance package and assistance finding new employment.
    
Bank executives believe regulatory approval will come by July and the brand changeover will be complete by the end of the year.
    
With the acquisition, First Interstate's assets would grow to $8.2 billion. Shareholders of Mountain West Financial Corp. still must approve the deal.