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Gate City Bank Ranks #4 in US on Forbes’ 2021 List of World’s Best Banks

Forbes has placed Gate City Bank at #4 on its 2021 list of World’s Best Banks due to the Bank’s success in earning customer trust, delivering innovative services, providing exceptional financial advice and other factors. The publication also voted Gate City Bank as the best bank in North Dakota.

“This is truly an incredible honor, and it’s all because of the amazing team members at Gate City Bank,” says Kevin Hanson, President & CEO. “Their hard work, philanthropic spirit and dedication to upholding our mission and Principles of High Standards make a difference every day.”

How Gate City Bank Made the 2021 List of World’s Best Banks

Whether it’s providing company time to volunteer with a charity of choice, fostering a workplace culture that’s based around having fun, constantly giving back to communities or promoting diversity and innovation, Gate City Bank truly provides a better way of life, and it comes from empowering people to make a difference.

Plus, everything Gate City Bank team members do is shaped by the Bank’s Principles of High Standards:

  • Make a Difference: Give back to communities by making an impactful difference through volunteerism and philanthropic giving.
  • Customer Obsession: Exceed expectations by going above and beyond. Listen, delight, enhance and personalize experiences from beginning to end across all channels for customers, communities and team members.
  • Be a Leader: Lead with integrity, honesty and innovation to maintain financial leadership with competitive products, services and experiences.
  • Embrace Data and Innovation: Explore and be curious about new possibilities to create and foster innovation to support strategic goals.
  • Sense of Urgency: Act with a sense of urgency to proactively initiate positive change, allowing Gate City Bank to remain the financial leader.
  • Commitment to Compliance: Ensure accountability to high standards of compliance and risk mitigation through successful execution of policies, procedures, processes and applicable laws and regulations.

Forbes also recognized Gate City Bank’s innovative products and services. The Bank is changing the industry through innovation that creates a better way of life for customers, communities and team members. Some examples include:

  • FREE ATMs anywhere: Checking customers enjoy unlimited ATM fee refunds – worldwide. This has saved customers more than $43 million in fees!
  • BetterLife Student Loan: The first and only program of its kind in the nation, it helps people pay off student loans faster. It features no fees and a low interest rate. Since 2015, Gate City Bank has helped nearly 3,000 customers save more than $28 million in student loan interest.
  • My School Spirit Debit Cards: For loyal fans, Gate City Bank offers debit cards that have high school and college colors and mascots. The Bank donates $10 for every card ordered. It has donated over $155,000 to local high schools and colleges through this program.
  • Secure ID: Palm vein technology verifies customers’ identities by scanning their palm at check-in.

Forbes also recognized Gate City Bank’s heavy focus on community giving. Team members have provided $30.6 million in philanthropic giving and more than 250,000 hours of team volunteerism to over 1,000 charities since 2003. The Bank also promotes team member empowerment, leadership diversity and an amazing workplace culture where 50% of referrals for new team members come from existing team members.

In addition to recognizing these unique aspects of Gate City Bank’s culture, Forbes especially lauded the Bank’s robust and timely response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Processing the Most PPP Loans in North Dakota During the Pandemic

In addition to solid business practices deployed as part of its normal day-to-day operations, Gate City Bank’s community response to the COVID-19 pandemic was significant in Forbes’ ranking decision.

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan that was established as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. It provides small businesses with the resources they need to maintain payroll, hire back employees who may have been laid off and cover applicable overhead.

During the past year of the pandemic, Gate City Bank has helped over 2,100 businesses with more than 2,600 PPP loans, benefiting 252 industries and resulting in a $74 million overall impact.

“Local businesses and entrepreneurs help keep communities strong,” says Kevin Warner, Senior Vice President of Business Banking. “Gate City Bank has been proud to stand with them throughout the pandemic, creating a better way of life for our communities by delivering an innovative and seamless PPP loan process.”

This unique program has been incredibly successful in North Dakota, which had the highest concentration of PPP funds per private sector worker compared to any other state during the first round of loans in 2020. During that same period, Gate City Bank processed more loans under $150,000 than any other bank in North Dakota.

Helping Customers with Personal Loans That Totaled Over $1 Million

In the wake of the pandemic, the Bank’s BetterLife Loan, for example, provided access to emergency funds for customers who suffered a job loss or a significant income-related event. The Bank helped over 400 people with this program alone, making a $1.3 million impact overall throughout the year.

Gate City Bank’s commitment to helping customers has set it apart, especially during times of emergency such as government shutdowns, floods and the COVID-19 pandemic. The Bank’s pandemic-related personal loans* came with a very low interest rate and no fees, helping people create a better way of life in difficult circumstances.

The Bank also offered loan deferrals for those whose livelihood was heavily impacted by COVID-19. It processed more than 6,700 loan extensions for customers.

“While the pandemic presented many hurdles, Gate City Bank never lost hope,” Warner says. “Instead, our team members saw an opportunity to increase community giving for those who needed it most.”

The Path Forward

Forbes has recognized that, for nearly a century, Gate City Bank has been committed to helping customers, communities and team members create a better way of life. According to the Bank’s leadership, that vision will never change, and Gate City Bank looks forward to making a difference through giving and innovation for years to come, while continuing to be one of the World’s Best Banks.

About Gate City Bank

A $2.8 billion mutual bank founded in 1923, Gate City Bank is the region’s leading financial institution, as well as the #1 mortgage lender in North Dakota. The Bank employs more than 735 team members at 43 locations in 22 communities across North Dakota and central Minnesota. The Bank believes in creating a better way of life for customers, communities and team members, and it has contributed $30.6 million in philanthropic giving and 250,000 hours of team volunteerism since 2003. Additionally, the Bank has also been named one of the “50 Best Places to Work” seven years in a row by Prairie Business magazine.

*Terms and conditions apply.


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