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Banking on the Hi-Line

Our History & Mission

Independence Bank proudly serves northcentral and northeastern Montana. Please take a look at our history and our mission statement to learn more about our values and who we are.

Our community banking philosophy and local decision-making separates us from our competitors. We specialize in Ag and Commercial lending, but we offer a complete range of banking services. The decisions we make, and our lending practices are all based on the needs of families and businesses in the communities we serve.


Our Mission

Independence Bank will excel as a locally owned Bank with its primary focus on developing and maintaining mutually beneficial relationships with agricultural, commercial, professional, and consumer clients. We will achieve success through our consistent commitment to our communities and our customers. We will be recognized for:

  • Superior Performance
  • Timely Service
  • Quality Assets
  • Equality of Service
  • Creative Solutions

Independence Bank’s focus will be to benefit its customers, its employees, its communities, and its shareholders.



  • Independence Bank, formerly known as First Security Bank, was founded in 1972 by a group of Havre business owners who saw a need for a community bank.
  • The doors opened on March 12, 1973, at the present Fifth Avenue location in Havre, MT.
  • Gerald Tucker became the first President of the bank in February of 1972.
  • In April 1979, John Caven became the second President.

2024 1970


  • In 1982, Interest Rates rose to combat inflation, resulting in a 21.5% Prime Interest Rate in June.
  • In 1983, First Security Bank celebrated its 10th Anniversary with an Art Show & Open House.
  • In its 10th year, the bank had an asset size of $28 Million.

2024 1980


  • In June 1991 Chuck Celania became president/CEO
  • In 1993, First Security Bank celebrated its 20th Anniversary. 38 new shareholders and 16 existing shareholders purchased 55% of the stock from the 12 Member Control Group. This was the beginning of broader diversification of the shareholder group.
  • In its 20th year, the bank had an asset size of $40 Million.
  • In 1998, the bank acquired Citizens State Bank (Opened 1916) in Scobey and Trader State Bank (Opened 1909) in Poplar.



2024 1990


  • In 2000, the bank purchased Western Security Federal Banks in Glasgow and Malta.
  • On July 5, 2000, the name was changed to Independence Bank across five branches.
  • Independence Bank began KOA Campground Lending in 2002.
  • In 2003, the bank celebrated its 30th Anniversary and surpassed $250 Million.
  • Miles Hamilton became President/CEO in April 2004.

2024 2000


  • In 2012, Independence Bank rebranded with a new logo.
  • The Conrad Branch was added in 2014. In this year, the bank reached assets of over $500 Million.
  • In June 2017, Independence Bank reached over 100+ full time employees.
  • The Great Falls LPO/DPO opened in 2019. The bank also surpassed assets of over $750 Million.

2024 2010


  • In April 2021, Independence Bank opened an LPO/DPO in Plentywood.
  • Bill Keller became President/CEO in April 2021. In this year, the bank surpassed $1 Billion in assets.
  • In May 2022, the Shelby Branch opened with the Great Falls Branch to follow in August 2022.
  • KOA Lending also celebrated its 20th year.
  • Independence Bank celebrated its 50th Anniversary in March of 2023.
  • In January 2024, Plentywood opened as a full-service branch.

A Video History

IB Leadership Shares Our History

Enjoy our history through video. Our IB Leadership shares their experience through the years at the bank and talk about how we've grown.

Check out our YouTube channel for more IB videos!

IB YouTube

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