Washington Evening Journal
http://washington-ia.villagesoup.com/p/1053407

Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 31, 2014

Hills Bank announces branch

Hochstetler hopes Washington location will open next fall
By David Hotle | Sep 09, 2013
When complete, the new Hills Bank location will be in the field just north of WalMart

HILLS — Plenty of customers in Washington and a desire to be part of a thriving agricultural community are among the reasons Hills Bank and Trust Company vice president Dave Hochstetler gave for the bank’s decision to open a Washington branch office.
Late last week, the bank reported that it had entered into a purchase agreement to acquire land for the purpose of building a new full-service banking location. The land is located in the field directly to the north of Walmart and east of Pizza Ranch at Washington Street and Highway 92. Hochstetler said that the location was selected to provide easy access to the bank’s rural customers while still being close to downtown Washington.
“We have been grateful for our long-established customer base in and around Washington and are excited for the opportunity to officially bring Hills Bank to Washington,” Hochstetler said.
While the purchase agreement is subject to the approval of the Iowa Division of Banking, Hochstetler said that he hopes construction can begin on the branch office in the spring, for completion next fall.
“Hopefully, we will be adding this location sooner than later,” Hochstetler said.
With 17 locations and about 80 automatic teller machines in the Iowa corridor area, Hochstetler said that customers of Hills bank would be able to use any of these locations. He said within the last year, Hills has opened branches in the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and in the Iowa Memorial Union. There are also branches in Kalona and Wellman.
Hochstetler said that while all the details for the location haven’t been worked out yet, he expects the location to be about 4,500 square feet, with a main floor and a conference room in the basement. He said that it would be a full-service location, offering all the services Hills Bank has.
Hills Bank operates a 4,600 square foot branch office in Mount Vernon, which has a taxable property value of $1.3 million. Hochstetler said that about 10 employees would run the Washington branch.
Hills Bank is the third largest independently owned bank in Iowa, with $2.1 billion in assets. The bank currently has 425 employees. It has branches in Washington, Johnson and Linn counties.
“We think it will be a good fit for us to have a branch there,” Hochstetler said. “We are excited to be a part of the Washington community.”

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