CoBank Merges With U.S. AgBank

CoBank Merges With U.S. AgBank

New bank is largest in the Farm Credit System.

CoBank, headquartered in Denver, Colo., is now the largest of the four banks in the national Farm Credit System.

The co-op bank has completed its merger with U.S. AgBank of Wichita, Kan., to become an institution with $85 billion in financial services.

The bank now offers financial services to more than 70,000 farmers and other rural borrowers,

such as energy co-ops, throughout the nation.

"We're delighted to have finalized this merger on behalf of our customer-owners across rural

America," says Everett Dobrinski, CoBank board chairman.

"The merger builds CoBank's financial strength, greatly increases the diversity of our loan portfolio, and expands our overall lending capacity.

"Most importantly, it enhances our ability to serve  our borrowers and fulfill our mission for future generations."

The combined bank continues to do business under the CoBank name and remains headquartered in Denver, with Robert E. Engel continuing to hold the position of president/CEO.

The merger "creates a more durable bank that is better positioned to fulfill its mission over the long run," says Engel. "We look forward to a new chapter in the history of CoBank, and to continued service as a strategic financial partner to our customers in rural America."

The bank retains its cooperative structure,  with qualified borrowers earning cash and equity patronage in proportion to the amount of business they do with the organization.

"The directors of both CoBank and U.S. AgBank have worked closely  together for more than a year to make this transaction happen," says John Eishenhut, former chairman of the U.S. AgBank board, and now first vice chairman of CoBank.

"We greatly look forward as one team in the coming year, and to providing the combined bank with good governance and leadership in keeping with the best cooperative principles."

CoBank is one of four funding banks in the FC system, a nationwide network of cooperatively-owned lending institutions specifically chartered to meet the credit needs of agriculture and other key sectors of the nation's rural economy.

The FC system has over $225 billion in total assets and recorded earnings of about $3.5 billion in 2010.

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