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Minnwest Bank is committed to helping the farmers in our communities do more, a commitment that has been at the forefront of our mission since the very beginning. Founded in 1987, Minnwest Bank was launched with an immediate goal of providing a lifeline to farms and businesses.

The 1980s farming crisis

In 1987, the Midwest was feeling the effects of the farming crisis – a crisis which was years in the making and left ripple effects felt for years after. Many factors played a role in causing this crisis, from soaring farm debt, rising interest rates and oil prices, alongside falling exports, contributed to a poor operating environment for many farmers and businesses. Land prices plummeted, leading to record foreclosures, signaling an industry in peril.

As the crisis ran its course, it shuttered nearly a quarter of a million farms, crippling the surrounding communities. This environment was volatile for local banks across the region, and led to the potential of closures, possibly leaving these communities without the financial resources they would need to weather this storm.

A community lifeline

Motivated by this crisis, founder M.D. (Pete) McVay and his family recognized the importance of a local bank as a lifeline for farmers. The family developed a better, more community-oriented bank whose mission was to build strong, vibrant communities. Minnwest Bank provided a lifeline for farmers and business owners, ensuring they had financial services at their disposal that could help them respond to the conditions brought on by the crisis.

Since that time, Minnwest Bank has steadfastly served and supported communities throughout Minnesota and South Dakota.

Minnwest has remained a family business, with current CEO Todd McVay carrying the torch through the present and to the future.

“Agriculture and farming are the lifeblood of many communities,” says McVay. “That’s why we’ve remained committed to these towns in ways that other banks aren’t.”

An evolving business rooted in tradition

Today, Minnwest Bank is one of Minnesota’s largest banks, with over 30 bank locations and $3 billion in assets. Minnwest maintains the same values and commitments to customers and communities that it did back at its founding. Minnwest has first-hand knowledge of the challenges and risk facing farmers and business owners and are building relationships with doers every day.


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