Blackhawk Bank's Vision, Mission, Core Values & History
To create exceptional results by creating exceptional experiences...the fun, smart place to bank, invest and work.
To make every customer a customer for life.
… be obsessed with our Client's success.
… keep learning and teaching.
… own it.
… work smart, play hard.
… communicate in ways that engage and inform.
… give back.
Then and Now: An Historic View
In a Certificate of Organization adopted on March 26, 1881, a group of community leaders agreed “to associate ourselves in a corporate body to be known as Beloit Savings Bank for the purpose of receiving the deposits of laborers, mechanics, servants, minors and others, and to loan the same for the benefit of such depositors.”
S.T. Merrill was elected the first President of the bank. Secretary / Treasurer John A. Holmes was authorized, under the direction of the Financial Committee, to make all necessary arrangements in conformity to law for the opening of Beloit Savings Bank. It served its customers from 2 until 4 PM on Mondays and Saturdays from the 2nd floor of the D.S. Foster Building in downtown Beloit, Wisconsin, after agreeing to “cause such repairs as were proper, not to exceed the sum of twenty dollars.”
So it began in 1881 for the bank now known as Blackhawk Bank. Since, the bank has thrived for generations under the guidance of sixteen Presidents and members of the Board.
The leadership skills of these men and women have positioned Blackhawk Bank as a foremost provider of financial services in Rock, Boone, and Winnebago counties. Today, lead by President and CEO Rick Bastian, Blackhawk is the second largest bank in Beloit, Wisconsin and second in all of Boone County, Illinois.
The community banking tradition is inherent in the bank’s philosophy: to provide unparalleled client service; to give folks the ability to call a bank official for a prompt response to a question or concern; to know clients by name. Blackhawk takes pride in being a strong corporate citizen, strengthening economic growth and prosperity in the communities it serves.
While faced with the influx of big-bank conglomerates and non-bank competition, Blackhawk Bank continues to focus on what it does best; meeting clients’ ever-changing needs with friendly, helpful service, convenience, superior financial products and the latest technology.
Major Events Timeline
The Beloit Daily News proclaims Beloit Savings Bank the oldest and largest Mutual Savings Bank in Wisconsin, with highest-ever assets. It reported that the School Savings Program, first instituted by the bank in 1882, gave the bank a nation-wide reputation. During 1971, the bank adopted an “on-line” computer accounting system to provide faster, more accurate service for its clients.
A two story state-of-the art facility was constructed to accommodate Beloit Savings Bank’s move from its long-time site at the corner of State Street and Public Avenue. The vacated building became an eclectic restaurant called “The Olde Banque” for a period of time before it was later demolished.
On the brink of Beloit Savings Bank’s 100th Anniversary, it was granted checking powers by the Wisconsin legislature. The bank began offering regular and NOW checking accounts.
Beloit Savings Bank purchased an ‘in-house computer’ and installed its first ‘TYME’ Automated Teller Machine.
A new, full service branch bank opened at 1795 Madison Road, on Beloit’s west-side. Land was purchased for another office on Beloit’s east-side.
The Beloit east-side office opened in February at 2200 Cranston Road. The Beloit offices were serving 4000 clients per month, and over 350 new accounts were opened during the year.
A new marketing and advertising program was developed with a goal of attracting 500 Free Checking Accounts.
Beloit Savings Bank changed its state charter to become a publicly–held commercial bank. The bank’s name became Blackhawk State Bank. Shares of Blackhawk Bancorp, Inc. became available on the Over the Counter Market under the symbol BKHB.
Ground breaking took place for a two-story, 6,000 square foot addition on the S/E corner of the building at 400 Broad Street, Beloit. The bank announced plans for the first full-service branch bank located in a local supermarket, Cub Foods.
Robert Thomas Securities, a full service brokerage firm, opened inside the bank at 400 Broad Street, Beloit. The firm’s name later changed to Raymond James Financial Services, Inc.
Blackhawk State Bank reached a merger agreement and plan of reorganization with Rochelle Bancorp, Inc., an Illinois corporation headquartered in Rochelle. Rochelle Savings and Loan operated offices in both Rochelle and Oregon.
May – Blackhawk State Bank completed the Rochelle Bancorp acquisition, resulting in six office locations on both sides of the Illinois/Wisconsin state line.
July – Blackhawk opened its second in-store branch bank at the Beloit Wal-Mart Super Center.
The Cub Foods and Wal-Mart branches were later closed, consolidating business to the near-by offices at 400 Broad Street and Cranston Road, Beloit.
March - Blackhawk State Bank opened its eighth office at the corner of Highway 251 and Elevator Road in Roscoe, IL
May - Blackhawk State Bank announced its plan to expand its presence in Illinois with the proposed acquisition of First Financial Bancorp of Belvidere, IL. The completed acquisition added two offices in Belvidere and a new office building on Perryville Road in Rockford.
Rick Bastian joined Blackhawk as its sixteenth President and Chief Executive Officer.
A second Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. opened inside the Rockford office on Perryville Road.
March - Blackhawk announced its plan to acquire DunC Corp., headquartered in Capron, IL.
October – Blackhawk State Bank completed the DunC Corp. acquisition, adding offices in Capron, Machesney Park and Belvidere, IL.
As a result of this acquisition, Blackhawk began focusing on brick and mortar efficiencies in communities where another Blackhawk Bank office was located nearby. The decision was carried out to consolidate business from the 1021 N. State Street, Belvidere office to the nearby banking center at 2141 N. State Street.
Focusing further on core efficiencies, Blackhawk consolidated its market footprint to a regional corridor stretching from Beloit, WI to Belvidere, IL. The branch banks in Rochelle and Oregon, Illinois were sold to First National Bank of Rochelle.
Blackhawk State Bank shortened its name to Blackhawk Bank and updated its logo for a more contemporary image. New signage was erected at all banking centers.
The bank expanded its ATM network through a co-operative agreement that placed numerous ATMs in high-traffic sites. The ATM network expansion is an on-going project.
The elimination of secondary offices continued with the consolidation of two branches in close proximity to other banking centers. Business from Blackhawk’s branch office at 1795 Madison was consolidated to two larger offices in Beloit at 400 Broad Street and 2200 Cranston Road. Business from the bank’s 121 E. Locust Street branch was consolidated to a main banking center in Belvidere at 2141 N. State Street.
April - A third office of Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. opened inside the banking center at 2141 N. State Street, Belvidere.
September – The Mortgage Processing Department relocated from the Belvidere office to 7160 Argus Drive in Rockford, IL. The Mortgage Center’s suites house the bank’s mortgage underwriters and processors as well as Rockford area Mortgage Loan Originators.
In June Blackhawk Bank broke ground for a full-service banking center at 3101 11th Street in Rockford, IL. On November 11th the bank opened to meet the financial needs of this diverse corridor populated by manufacturers, businesses, families and individuals.
In April, the Bank launched Mobile Banking so that wherever clients may be, so is Blackhawk Bank.
2010, 2011, 2012
The Bank earned multiple honors including:
- ‘5 Star Superior’ Ratings, awarded to only the strongest banks by leading financial industry analyst Bauer Financial
- Manzullo Individual Business Catalyst of the Year Award, presented to President & CEO Rick Bastian
- American Bankers Association Certificate of Recognition for Financial Literacy
- Named Among the Top 200 Community Banks in the Nation by US Banker
- FDIC ‘Outstanding’ Rating For Community Reinvestment – awarded to no other bank in the region.
- Throughout 2011, Blackhawk Bank celebrated 130 years of safe, sound, reliable service to local residents and business owners.
Blackhawk Bank is a wholly owned subsidiary of Blackhawk Bancorp, Inc. (BHWB). The Bank employs 175 people, operates 8 full service Banking Centers and a dedicated Mortgage Center. Its offices are located in Beloit, WI, Roscoe, Machesney Park, Rockford, Belvidere and Capron IL.