First Western Bank merging, expanding

MINOT, N.D. - First Western Bank and Trust is growing to 15 locations in North Dakota and Minnesota.

First Western President and CEO Brenda Foster said the bank's holding company, Westbrand, announced a merger with BlackRidge Financial and will now be operating under the First Western name in 11 different communities.

She says the company plans to keep their headquarters in Minot.

The merger is not yet official until it is approved by regulators.

Foster said the deal is expected to be approved in this year's 4th quarter.