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Bremer Bank’s Community Reinvestment Activities earn ‘outstanding’ rating

COLFAX – In the most recent Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) exam by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), Bremer Bank Wisconsin received a rating of ‘Outstanding’ for its Community Reinvestment efforts. This rating – the highest regulatory rating possible – recognizes Bremer’s efforts to meet or exceed community needs in the areas of small business lending, financial education and affordable housing.

“Bremer Bank was founded on the principle that direct investment in our communities is critical if they are to maintain their health and vitality,” said Royed Wollberg, President Bremer Bank Colfax. “At Bremer, we are committed to building healthy communities through partnerships and we are proud of our long-standing investment in the health of those communities.”

The Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 required banks to meet the credit needs of all the communities where they do business, especially low-to-moderate income communities and families.

Bremer received an overall “Outstanding” rating in all three of the exam’s test categories:

1) Lending (mortgages, small business, and community development for affordable housing and economic development);

2) Services (retail banking stores, alternative delivery channels, and financial outreach); and

3) Investments (funding capital and grants to community organizations).

“Given the challenging economic environment that we experienced during some of the years reviewed in this exam, it’s very gratifying to have earned this outstanding rating, particularly in the area of lending,” said Dan Draxler, Bremer Bank Charter CEO.

The exam period included CRA performance from January 1 2008 through June 30, 2012. Highlighted comments from the exam included:

• Bremer demonstrates excellent lending activity, good geographic distribution and good borrower income distribution.

• Bremer provided an excellent level of qualified investments throughout the bank’s assessment areas. Qualified investments are primarily from charitable contributions that address the needs of low- and moderate-income individuals.

• Bremer’s performance under the service test is excellent. Bremer’s delivery systems are readily accessible to low- and moderate-income individuals and geographies. Bremer provides a good level of community development services to organizations that target low- and moderate-income individuals and address the issues of affordable housing.

About Bremer Financial Corporation

Bremer Financial Corporation is a privately-held, $8.9 billion regional financial services company jointly owned by its employees and the Otto Bremer Foundation (OBF). Founded in 1943 by Otto Bremer, the company is headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota and provides a comprehensive range of banking, investment, trust and insurance services to more than 100 locations in Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin. OBF uses its share of dividends to distribute charitable grants to Bremer bank communities. In 2012, more than $35 million in charitable donations were given across the Bremer footprint and employees donated more than 150,000 volunteer hours to their communities.