"We are a financial and bank holding company of the First Interstate Bank, which delivers a comprehensive range of banking products and services to individuals, businesses, municipalities and other entities throughout our market areas. Our customers participate in a wide variety of industries, including energy, healthcare and professional services, education and governmental services, construction, mining, agriculture, retail and wholesale trade and tourism. Our principal markets range in size from 23,000 to 150,000 people, have diversified economic characteristics and favorable population growth prospects and usually serve as trade centers for larger rural areas.
Community banking encompasses commercial and consumer banking services provided through our Bank, primarily the acceptance of deposits; extensions of credit; mortgage loan origination and servicing; and trust, employee benefit, investment and insurance services. Our community banking philosophy emphasizes providing customers with commercial and consumer banking products and services locally using a personalized service approach while strengthening the communities in our market areas through community service activities. We grant our banking offices significant authority in delivering and pricing products in response to local market considerations and customer needs. This authority enables our banking offices to remain competitive by responding quickly to local market conditions and enhances their relationships with the customers they serve by tailoring our products and price points to each individual customer’s needs. We also require accountability by having company-wide standards and established limits on the authority and discretion of each banking office. This combination of authority and accountability allows our banking offices to provide personalized customer service and be in close contact with our communities, while at the same time promoting strong performance at the branch level and remaining focused on our overall financial performance.
We offer short and long-term real estate, consumer, commercial, agricultural and other loans to individuals and businesses in our market areas. We have comprehensive credit policies establishing company-wide underwriting and documentation standards to assist management in the lending process and to limit our risk. These credit policies establish lending guidelines based on the experience and authority levels of the personnel located in each banking office and market. The policies also establish thresholds at which loan requests must be recommended by our credit committee and/or approved by the Bank’s board of directors. While each loan must meet minimum underwriting standards established in our credit policies, lending officers are granted certain levels of authority in approving and pricing loans to assure that the banking offices are responsive to competitive issues and community needs in each market area.
We offer traditional depository products including checking, savings and time deposits. Deposits at the Bank are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, or FDIC, up to statutory limits. We also offer repurchase agreements primarily to commercial and municipal depositors. Under repurchase agreements, we sell investment securities held by the Bank to our customers under an agreement to repurchase the investment securities at a specified time or on demand. All outstanding repurchase agreements are due in one business day.
We provide a wide range of trust, employee benefit, investment management, insurance, agency and custodial services to individuals, businesses and nonprofit organizations. These services include the administration of estates and personal trusts; management of investment accounts for individuals, employee benefit plans and charitable foundations; and insurance planning. As of January 31, 2010, the estimated fair value of trust assets held in a fiduciary or agent capacity was in excess of $2.4 billion.
We have centralized certain operational activities to provide consistent service levels to our customers company-wide, to gain efficiency in management of those activities and to ensure regulatory compliance. Centralized operational activities generally support our banking offices in the delivery of products and services to customers and include marketing; credit review; credit cards; mortgage loan sales and servicing; indirect consumer loan purchasing and processing; loan collections and, other operational activities. Additionally, policy and management direction and specialized staff support services have been centralized to enable our branches to serve their markets more effectively. These services include credit administration, finance, accounting, human resource management, internal audit and other support services. "