Community banking in Newton is expanding, as Midland National Bank announced last week it is merging with Union State Bank of Arkansas City in a deal reached between both banks' parent companies — Midland Financial Corporation and Docking Bancshares Inc., respectively.

The transaction is anticipated to close in the fourth quarter of this year, while Midland National Bank will continue to operate separately as “Midland” — a division of Union State Bank — until the third quarter of 2020, when the banking systems are converted. At that time, the bank will rebrand to Union State Bank. With that transition, Midland National Bank president Ron Lang doesn't anticipate the landscape will shift too much for Midland's customers.

"Union State Bank is a family-owned bank, it's a community bank, so from that standpoint I don't anticipate much change at all," Lang said.

Lang also noted this merger announcement is an initial dissemination of information. Until the bank system conversion and rebranding is complete, customers of Union State Bank and Midland National Bank should continue to conduct business as usual at their existing bank locations. Throughout the process, customers of Midland National Bank can expect to receive additional information from Union State Bank well in advance of any changes. If customers have questions, they should contact their local branch office.

For Midland customers, this merger is a win in Lang's eyes as joining with Union State Bank will open up the services offered to Newton patrons.

"It's a little larger organization. They have some more products that Midland doesn't have that will be beneficial to our customers. There is an expanded banking footprint with locations now in Wichita, Cowley County and even a couple locations in Oklahoma that will benefit our customers," Lank said. "It's very similar to what Midland does, so it's a good fit, just a little better banking footprint that will benefit our customers, both individuals and businesses."

“We look forward to working with the team at Union State Bank to make this a successful and seamless transition for everyone involved. Union State Bank is a financially-sound community bank with a long and rich history of community involvement and personalized customer service," said John Suderman, chairman of the board of Midland National Bank. It is evident to me this opportunity will enhance our ability to provide elevated banking options with the convenience of more locations across Kansas coupled with a broader array of financial products and services. It’s definitely a win-win for both of our banks and our customers.”

New products Lang and Suderman alluded to include enhanced cash management products for business customers — as well as technological benefits that come from bigger organizations.

Both banks' focus on community — each having been established in theirs for more than 100 years — helped lead to the merger. With an eye toward that, the companies have already announced that Lang will be staying on with the newly formed banking entity.

"As we look towards the future of community banking, we have been specifically searching for a franchise team that exhibits a similar fabric of goals and values not only in providing best-in-class banking services for customers, but also in providing a top-tier environment that positively impacts the daily lives of all other stakeholders and employees," said Eric Kurtz, President and CEO of Union State Bank. "As such, we are tremendously pleased that Midland National’s President, Ron Lang, has agreed to continue to work with us in the position of Market President. Ron’s knowledge of the community and Midland’s customers is a tremendous asset as he shares our philosophy in how we value our customer relationships and how we conduct our banking business.”

“We are extremely pleased with this opportunity to expand our bank locations into Newton. However, this purchase was about much more than that. Our banks complement each other. Both banks share the same values of providing exceptional customer service, community support and — most importantly — trust," said Bill Docking, President, CEO and chairman of the board for Docking Bancshares Inc.

Upon closing the merger Union State Bank’s total asset size will increase to more than $475 million and add five additional Kansas branch locations. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including the approvals of the appropriate regulatory authorities and the shareholders of Midland Financial Corporation.