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Portage Bank has recently transplanted to the Seattle area, picking up stakes from its humble Minnesota abode to relocate its headquarters to Bellevue, Washington. Founded in 1901 in the small town of Ceylon, Minnesota, as the State Bank of Ceylon, Portage Bank has operated continuously and successfully in Minnesota for over 120 years, but recently decided to shift its focus to the Pacific Northwest. So what makes an old Minnesotan choose to move to the great State of Washington?

Well, that’s a good question . . . And it has a good answer. 

Portage Bank has a long history and tradition of offering excellent personal customer service to its local residents; this is something that Portage Bank will continue to keep at the forefront of its operations. It is this excellent reputation that brought Portage Bank to the attention of a group of investors in the Pacific Northwest, who believe that Portage Bank was an ideal vehicle to reinvent banking, both for customers in the Pacific Northwest as well as its existing Minnesota clientele.

So despite its small-town upbringing, Portage Bank has a very modern outlook.

Taking note of recent changes in how banks and other financial services companies do business, Portage Bank has fully embraced the concept that excellent customer service in modern banking is less dependent upon brick-and-mortar solidity than it is about good communication and offering the right mix of financial products to meet client needs.

This has prompted Portage Bank to completely shift its business model to one that relies on the internet to be available to customers. The new Portage Bank sees Washington as the optimum locale in which to launch the bank’s make-over and achieve its overall vision.

Washington Versus Minnesota

While Portage gets acclimatized to its new home, it will find some familiar features. Like its home state of Minnesota, Washington is known for its natural beauty and the outdoorsiness of the population, despite its high northern latitude. In addition, both states have similar population densities, and the size of the economies in both states are very similar.

But the economy in the Pacific Northwest has a reputation for being more innovative and cutting-edge. While Minnesota can boast some pretty impressive Fortune 500 companies, they tend to be more “old school”: companies like Target, 3M, Cargill, and United Health Group. In contrast, Washington is home to giants like Amazon, Costco, Starbucks, and Microsoft–youngish upstarts that revolutionized entire markets. 

Serving these two states gives Portage Bank a unique perspective. The blend of old and new, traditional and modern, provides Portage Bank with wide latitude in offering innovative banking products and services that can take into account the relative strengths and weaknesses of these two markets, inspiring it to constantly reevaluate how banking should be done.

Washington is an attractive place for Portage to begin anew, to pioneer a whole new approach to what banking can be. This is not to say that Portage will shed its roots. Not only will it continue to operate its original bank in Ceylon, it will adhere to its tradition of stellar customer service and customer engagement

At Portage Bank, we think this is a winning combination: offering customers competitive and innovative financial products coupled with a convenient way of doing business, while still offering the reliability, steadfastness, and courtesy of a century-old institution. If you want to find out what we can offer you, contact Portage Bank today.

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