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Bank of the Cascades to trim 150 jobs after buyout


Bank of the Cascades CEO Terry Zink confirmed to NewsChannel 21 Monday there will be about 150 job cuts across several branches by next August as it is purchased by First Interstate Bank.

The news comes after last week’s announcement that Montana-based First Interstate will acquire Bank of the Cascades for $589 million.

Zink said the sale will result in some duplicate positions, which means some employees will have to be laid off. But he said it might not mean that many people will leave the company.

“When we model a transaction, you always have to model what kind of cost (savings) you’re going to get,” said First Interstate Bank President and CEO Kevin Riley. “But in reality, when you actually go to the number of people that lose their jobs, it’s far less than that.”

Riley said one way the layoff number might be lower is with people moving to an open position.

Zink said in the banking industry, you often get offers over the phone, and they weren’t looking to sell But he said this move felt right.

“We weren’t genuinely looking to sell,” he said. “But after getting to know Kevin, getting to know the Scott family and First Interstate Bank, the culture and everything was just so good that we just felt like it was a good opportunity,”

First Interstate Bank is based in Montana and also has branches in Wyoming and South Dakota. Riley said moving into the markets of Oregon, Idaho and Washington is a good move for the company.

“For geographic diversification, for economic swings, it was really nice to get into the states that Bank of the Cascades is in,” he said. “They’re in some really high-growth markets and good economies. so it helps stabilize the whole institution.”

Riley said his company can learn a lot from Bank of the Cascades.

“Big is not better. Better is better,” he said. “This acquisition really enhances both franchises. We give some additional products and services that Bank of the Cascades can offer, as well (as) we’re going to get some things that bank of the Cascades does very well — small business lending, SBA lending, they’re very good. They’re No. 1 in Bend and (No. 4) in Boise.”.

They hope to close the deal by early July, pending approval by regulators.

The officials also said Bank of the Cascades will keep its name for the foreseeable future.

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