November 21, 2017

1st National to Change Charters and Name

November 1, 2017— Berlin, Wis. — In August of 2017, 1st National Bank’s management team started the process to change from a national to a state bank charter.  In doing so, the bank stated they will be better aligned with the communities they serve, have additional resources to focus on client service, and further their mission of Growin’ Wisconsin.

As a chartered bank, 1st National’s primary role is to accept and safeguard monetary deposits from individuals and organizations, and to lend money out.  A nationally chartered bank is supervised by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), an agency in the U.S. Treasury Department. Once state chartered, the bank will be regulated by the Department of Financial Institutions, headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

Making the transition to the state chartered designation will require 1st National to change their name, as the term national will no longer be allowed.

“We have been conducting business as 1st National Bank for more than 140 years, so making the decision to change our name was difficult,” stated Eric Cerbins, President and CEO of 1st National Bank. “However, in the end, the benefits far outweighed any negatives,” he continued.

A lengthy process, the charter transition will be completed within the first quarter of 2018. As for choosing a new name, the bank began research and development in June and has just formally announced to its shareholders the new name: Fortifi Bank.

When asked how a name was decided, Wendy Seaman, Executive Vice President – Chief Operating Officer stated, “Fortify means to strengthen or enrich, exactly what we do for our clients’ every day. We focus on their needs and offer solutions and trusted guidance for a brighter financial future. It is a perfect fit.”

Existing clients will feel very little impact as the bank transitions.  Account numbers, checks, and debit cards will continue to function the same.  Visual elements will begin to transition in early 2018 and clients may have to download an updated version of the bank’s mobile application.

“We are ready to start the next chapter of our legacy. Our new name embraces our past while looking to the future. It will allow us to provide the best banking experience our clients deserve,” stated Greg Lundberg, Executive Vice President of Business Banking.

The bank has nine locations throughout Wisconsin including Berlin, Green Lake, Green Bay, Montello, Omro, Poy Sippi, Waunakee, Westfield and Winneconne. Their full-service locations offer both personal and business clients a portfolio of products and services that are designed with the client in mind. Local decision-making, community involvement, community ownership and a Board of Directors comprised of local citizens have been the driving successes of 1st National Bank since inception. For more information, visit or call 1-855-876-1500.