Bremer Financial Corporation is the holding company for Bremer Bank, which operates more than 100 branches across Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin. It offers traditional retail banking services such as checking and savings accounts, certificates of deposit, and credit cards. Commercial real estate loans, business loans, and residential mortgages account for the bulk of the company's lending activities. The bank is also a prominent agricultural lender. In addition to deposits and loans, Bremer Bank also provides private banking, wealth management, financial planning, insurance, and trust services.
Bremer Financial reported earnings of more than $81 million in 2011, a gain of some 18% compared to the previous year, when it had net income of $68.5 million. Improved credit quality, as well as increased revenues from trust, insurance, and investment services, contributed to the company's results.
Bremer Bank moved into two new markets in 2010 -- Bismarck, North Dakota and Mankato, Minnesota -- by opening new branches there. Internally, the bank's growth initiatives center around business lending and continued revenue gains from nonbank financial services.
The Otto Bremer Foundation, a not-for-profit charitable trust established by the company's founder, owns more than 90% of Bremer Financial; employees of the company own the remainder. The foundation uses dividends from its shareholding to support charitable activities in communities in which the bank has a presence. – less