FIRSTBANK NORTHWEST ACQUIRES PIONEER

November 12, 2003 12:00 am
MERGER: FirstBank adds nine branches with the acquisition of Pioneer. These branches are in Baker City, La Grande, Island City, Enterprise, Ontario, John Day, Burns, Vale and Pendleton. (The Observer/BILL RAUTENSTRAUCH).
MERGER: FirstBank adds nine branches with the acquisition of Pioneer. These branches are in Baker City, La Grande, Island City, Enterprise, Ontario, John Day, Burns, Vale and Pendleton. (The Observer/BILL RAUTENSTRAUCH).

It's official. Pioneer Bank is no more.

The venerable financial institution, which which was founded over 100 years ago, has merged with FirstBank Northwest, a Northern Idaho financial institution established in 1920.

The merger agreement, in the works for nearly a year, was completed on Oct. 31.

FirstBank Northwest President and CEO Clyde Conklin said nearly all services at the Pioneer Bank branches will remain the same.

FirstBank Northwest will honor all customer checking accounts, Bounce Protection Limits, ATM/Check cards, statement savings accounts, certificates of deposit, individual retirement accounts, loans, lines of credit, VISA credit cards and safe deposit boxes with the same terms and conditions as Pioneer Bank, Conklin said.

He also said the same employees working at Pioneer branches now will work for FirstBank Northwest.

FirstBank adds nine branches with the acquisition of Pioneer. These branches are in Baker City, La Grande, Island City, Enterprise, Ontario, John Day, Burns, Vale and Pendleton.

Pioneer Bank, which in recent years has operated as a subsidiary of Oregon Trail Financial Corp., was founded as a savings and loan company in 1901. In 1999, it became a savings bank.

FirstBank Northwest operates branches in Lewiston, Lewiston Orchards, Moscow, Grangeville, Coeur d'Alene, Post Falls, Clarkston and Liberty Falls.

It has residential and commercial loan centers in Lewiston, Moscow, Coeur d'Alene and Spokane.

Karen Yeakley, a spokeswoman at Pioneer's corporate headquarters in Baker City, said Tuesday that the transition is taking place now. She said she didn't know when that transition would be complete.

"There's a conversion team working on different things," she said.

The name change will be completed in the first quarter of 2004.