Fort Pierre Development Corporation

Dakota Prairie Bank Becomes A 1st Fidelity Bank, Offers Residential Lending

December 15, 2023

Dakota Prairie Bank to Go Public February 2024 As A 1st Fidelity Bank

Steve Kost, Executive Vice President, at Dakota Prairie Bank in Fort Pierre said Friday, Dakota Prairie Bank opened their Fort Pierre branch 14 years ago.  He said, “It was started in 1906 by the Hayes Family. It has been a privately held, family-owned bank ever since then.  They have four locations: Presho, Fort Pierre, Draper and White River, White River being the most recent.”

According to Kost, the merger with 1st Fidelity was officially completed October 6.  “We will be a 1st Fidelity Bank (in February). There are a lot of similarities in the two banks. 1st Fidelity was started by the Littlebridge Family in 1905. It is a prominent Central South Dakota bank.”

Customer base for Dakota Prairie Bank has been primarily agricultural and commercial. Kost explained, “The merger is really beneficial to our customers. We are able to offer more services and offer more efficiencies with the merger.” He continued, “Some of the enhancements were in technology and we are able to provide a larger lending limit to our customers. Our lending limit tripled in size.”

“1st Fidelity bank is a very similar bank to Dakota Prairie Bank,” said Kost. They are a rural bank, rural oriented and had seven branches in Central South Dakota before the merger. Kost emphasized, “One enhancement we will have is a residential loan department.” They did not have a residential loan department prior to the merger.

“1st Fidelity is a rural bank, not a corporate bank so there won’t be a lot of change.” In the banking industry as a whole, Kost said, “There will be more consolidations. I think competition will be a big deal in the future and there are people who think interest rates will go down.”

Kost has been in banking for 48 years, first with Farm Credit, formerly Production Credit, for 13 years then with American State Bank. He worked for Production Credit right after he graduated from SDSU in 1975. When Steve Hayes was getting ready to open his branch in Fort Pierre, Kost told him he was interested in helping him.

Kost still owns and operates his family ranch that his grandfather started 100 years ago south of Eagle Butte, SD

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