Q & A for Bank of the Northwest Customers
Why is Bank of the Northwest merging with AmericanWest Bank?
The Regulators have encouraged the Bank of the Northwest management and Board of Directors to find a new majority shareholder. As part of this action our main focus was on our stakeholders, shareholders, employees, customers and community. AmericanWest is a well-capitalized organization with similar cultures and a relationship-oriented approach to business-focused community banking. We have an opportunity through this merger to offer enhanced products and services, plus expanded lending capabilities, which will benefit our customers and provide for future growth.
Does this mean there is going to be a change in ownership of the bank?
Yes, AmericanWest will own the bank when the merger is complete.
Who is AmericanWest Bank?
AmericanWest Bank is headquartered in Spokane, Washington and operates 58 full-service financial centers throughout Central and Eastern Washington, Northern Idaho and Utah. AWB currently operates as Far West Bank in Utah. AWB is a business-focused community bank that offers a wide range of business and personal products, including commercial and small business banking, mortgage lending, treasury management products, and consumer accounts. The bank is privately owned and has assets in excess of $1.6 billion.
When will the merger take place?
Management anticipates the merger to be finalized by third quarter, pending the approval of shareholders and regulators. Shareholder and customer communication will be forthcoming throughout the merger process to share changes as they take place.
Will any offices be closed?
The four Bank of the Northwest offices provide the foundation to serve customers and grow in the Puget Sound region, and we do not plan to close any of these branches.
Will Bank of the Northwest’s name change?
Yes, as one unified bank, we will all be AmericanWest Bank after regulatory and shareholder approval. We look forward to sharing more with you about the AmericanWest Bank brand.
How will my accounts change?
We will be working to ensure that this merger goes smoothly while bringing new opportunities for products, services, and convenient access to accounts. A team of employees from both organizations will carefully review every Bank of the Northwest product. If any changes are made, Bank of the Northwest customers will receiving detailed information through numerous channels to explain any changes to their accounts.
What is changing now, before the merger is complete?
It will be business as usual at the four offices in Bellevue, Everett, Issaquah and Tacoma. You can count on the same professional staff serving your financial needs.
Will you continue to focus on Community Banking?
Yes. Like Bank of the Northwest, personalized, professional customer service and relationship banking are at the foundation of AmericanWest Bank and will continue to be following this merger. AWB provides a professional environment where customers can take care of their banking and financial needs with responsive, knowledgeable and reliable bankers who know them by name and go the extra mile to provide the value-added solutions with exemplary service.
Will FDIC coverage of my accounts change?
There will be no changes to FDIC insurance now or after the merger is complete. Your accounts continue to be covered by the standard maximum deposit insurance amount of at least $250,000 per depositor.
How stable is AmericanWest Bank?
In December 2010, AmericanWest Bank was purchased by Starbuck Bancshares, who promptly invested $185 million in capital into the Bank; AmericanWest is now well-capitalized. Through its owner, SKBHC, LLC, Starbuck Bancshares has access to over $500 million of additional capital commitments to grow the Bank organically and through acquisitions.