In 1954 Stanley H. Haahr founded a new bank in Storm Lake, Iowa. He joined a handful of friends who invested a total of ten thousand dollars to incorporate the Storm Lake Savings and Loan Association. On February 22, 1954, Haahr opened the doors with nothing more than a desk, a cash box and a borrowed vault
Stanley Haahr didn’t need a complex mission statement or business philosophy. Instead, he practiced one simple credo: to take good care of employees and customers and to promote thrift and homeownership.
We’ve changed a little since those early days. Customer accounts are updated with computers instead of pens and ten-keys. And that original $10,000 of capital is now approaching a billion dollars in assets!
But we have not changed in our commitment to help people by making local banking serve them well.
Storm Lake Savings and Loan Association was granted a charter by the State of Iowa as a state chartered savings and loan. Founded by Stanley H. Haahr and 34 depositors, the principal objective of First Federal was to promote thrift and home ownership. The original subscribed capital was $10,000.
The Association was converted to a Federal Charter and changed its name to First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Storm Lake.
First Federal bought the Bradford Hotel site at Fifth and Erie. The hotel was demolished and construction began on the new First Federal building. Construction was completed in time to move to our new headquarters in 1972.
1977 – 1981
First Federal maintained a mortgage banking operation. The two offices of First Services Mortgage Corporation were located in Sioux Falls and Rapid City, South Dakota.
First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Storm Lake became First Federal Savings Bank of the Midwest, a subsidiary of First Midwest Financial, Inc. First Federal evolved from a mutual savings institution to a public company.
On September 20, 1993, 1.9 million shares of stock in First Midwest Financial, Inc., were issued at $10 per share and began trading on the NASDAQ stock market under the symbol "CASH."
Brookings Federal Bank, a federal savings bank in Brookings, South Dakota (a subsidiary of Community Financial Systems, Inc.) was acquired by First Federal and operates as the Brookings Federal Bank Division of First Federal Savings Bank of the Midwest.
Iowa Savings Bank in Des Moines was purchased by First Federal and operates as the Iowa Savings Bank Division of First Federal Savings Bank of the Midwest.
First Federal opened the doors to its first Sioux Falls office – a temporary facility – on September 6, 2000.
Construction was completed for First Federal Sioux Fall's new 12,000 square foot bank building.
Meta Payment Systems®, the bank’s electronic payment systems division, is established in Sioux Falls, SD. Meta Payment Systems supports clients domestically and internationally and manages four primary business lines that contribute to MetaBank’s revenue and deposits: prepaid cards, credit products, Automated Teller Machine (ATM) sponsorship and Automated Clearing House (ACH) origination.
All bank divisions under First Federal change name to MetaBank
, making banking easier for customers in its four market areas: Brookings, Central Iowa, Northwest Iowa and Sioux Falls.
Meta Payment Systems is recognized as one of the premier financial institutions in the prepaid arena.
Meta Payment Systems completed two patent applications for software developed to support client programs.
At year end, 500 banks representing 3,600 branch locations nationwide were selling gift cards through agreements with Meta Payment Systems.
The company added office space for Administration and Meta Payment Systems in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and Omaha, Nebraska.
At fiscal year end, Meta Payment Systems supported clients by implementing more than 1,110 prepaid programs and issuing 35.7 million cards, up 94 percent and 49 percent from 2006 year end respectively.
Meta Payment Systems' ATM services unit now sponsors more than 44 percent of the white-label ATMs placed nationally, up from 28 percent a year ago.
Meta Payment Systems (MPS), our electronic payments division, delivered resoundingly on one of our primary initiatives by increasing revenue 76% and adding 124% to non-interest income. MPS produced these impressive advances from both existing products and from exciting new offerings, such as our innovative iAdvance loan solution. New product offerings during the last 15 months accounted for 65% of 2008 MPS non-interest income.
Meta Financial Group made genuine progress in both revenue growth and long-term value creation for our owners in fiscal 2008. And, despite profitability challenges during a year of widespread turmoil in the economy, we declared and paid $0.52 per share in cash dividends, demonstrating to shareholders our stability and resolve by extending to fourteen years our record of consecutive quarterly dividends.
Meta Financial Group has grown to more than 400 employees, a 151% increase since 2006.
Tested like all financial institutions in a business climate marked by unprecedented change and economic upheaval throughout 2009, Meta Financial Group nevertheless made measureable progress in key areas of our enterprise. Our long heritage of disciplined fiscal management served us well during the year as we carefully managed our balance sheet and strengthened our base to take advantage of a slowly emerging economic environment.
MPS grew revenues by more than 80%, continuing its strong performance despite a lower deposit earnings credit resulting from lower interest rates. We are a leading issuer of gift cards and rebate cards in the US and the world, the #1 sponsor of ATMs in the US, and are among the top issuers of prepaid cards for Visa, MasterCard, and Discover.
MetaBank introduced a new retail product line to meet customer demand and actually create additional demand among current and potential customers. Extensive research and development allowed us to offset costs of our new market-leading checking accounts by changing consumer debit card usage while cost-effectively offering new features to address growing consumer concerns regarding identity theft and account fraud.
Meta Financial Group’s financial results for fiscal 2010 showed significant gains in four key areas: revenues, earnings, deposits and assets. Timely restructuring of MPS completed in January 2010 created an estimated $5.0 million in continuing annual savings. Shareholders’ equity rose to $23.15 per share at the end of the fiscal year from $17.97 per share in the prior year.
Net income for fiscal year 2011 was $4.6 million, or $1.49 per share, the second best in our history – a notable achievement given the harsh conditions prevailing in the banking industry and the national economy. MPS and the Retail Bank Division had the resiliency to achieve standalone profitability in 2011. The Retail Bank launched a comprehensive, long-term sales culture project which is a major component in our effort to ensure MetaBank is better positioned for continued growth and success.
James S. Haahr announced his resignation as Chairman of the Board. For more than half a century, Mr. Haahr guided each step of our growth from a small mutual savings and loan association through our IPO as a publicly-traded holding company and beyond. The Meta Financial Group board, management and employees deeply appreciate his enormous contributions in the past and his lasting influence on our future. J. Tyler Haahr was named Chairman and he remains President and Chief Executive Officer.
Our delivery and product development mechanisms at both MetaBank and Meta Payment Systems are continuously being sharpened to maximize future returns. We are truly excited that new opportunities for growth and profitability are becoming available.