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In The News

Pine Country Bank Celebrates 90 Years with Weekly $100 Giveaway



We are celebrating our 90-year anniversary, and want to share the excitement with you - the customers and community we serve with a weekly giveaway! Anyone opening a new account each week through the end of 2017 will be entered to win $100, winners will be drawn weekly. See official rules here. It’s that simple!

Here are some accounts that our current customers love:

  1. Personal checking
    Three accounts to choose from, all with free mobile and online banking, e-statements, mobile check deposits and the guidance from the bank you trust. Learn more
  2. Personal loans
    From automobile loans to personal lines of credit, we're here to find solutions that fit your personal situation. Learn more
  3. Home Mortgages
    Whether you are buying a new house or want to consider refinancing, it's a great time to find out what your options are. Contact Katie today. 
  4. Business checking
    Two accounts to choose from (low-cost and interest-earning), both with debit cards, free online and mobile banking, online bill pay and the guidance from the bank you trust. Learn more
  5. Business loans
    We've helped many small businesses get started and expand, we'd love to help your business too. It's not just a loan, it's the help and guidance from loan advisors with years of experience. Learn more

Our bank’s long-term success is undoubtedly from making sure we are a vital part of the community we serve. Formerly known as Royalton State Bank, we have been a locally-owned and run financial institution since 1927 and providing customers with the utmost level of personal service has been our foundation since day one. Every year through Our Hometown Pledge program, Pine Country Bank gives 5% of profits back to community organizations and employees are allowed to volunteer during work hours to local nonprofits.

From Rob Ronning, the President of Pine Country Bank:

We would like to thank our customers and community partners who have been loyal to us over the years and allowed Pine Country Bank to be a part of our amazing community. Through the work of our talented employees we have been able to remain a strong and stable community bank through 90 years of change and ups and downs. Pine Country Bank was founded to make life better for the people in our communities and we look forward to another 90 years of service to our neighbors and friends.

From Michelle Carlson, Lender at the Royalton branch:

It’s a fun way to celebrate our anniversary by giving people something they really want! We’re looking forward to seeing their excited faces—it’s a good way to reward current customers and welcome in new customers.


90th Anniversary Weekly Giveaway Official Sweepstakes Rules

Official Sweepstakes Rules: Drawing is open to all natural persons, regardless of customer relationship with the bank. Entries are limited to persons over the age of 13. Persons opening a new deposit or loan account with the bank during the promotional period will automatically be entered to win in that weeks’ drawing, and will receive one entry for each new account established, up to 5 accounts eligible per week. To enter without opening an account, submit a 3" x 5" card with your handwritten name, address, daytime telephone number (including area code), and date of birth submitted and mailed in an envelope to: “Pine Country Bank – Giveaways, 1201 First Avenue North East - P.O. Box 528, Little Falls, MN 56345”. Limit five handwritten entries per week. There is no cost to participate in the sweepstakes. A total of 1 winner per week will be selected at random. Odds of winning are dependent on the number of entries. Drawing will occur by noon on the following Monday during the promotional period. You need not be present win. Winners will be notified within 5 days of drawing. If we are unable to reach you within that time the prize will be forfeited. Photographs may be taken for publicity purposes: entry in this contest is your acknowledgement and acceptance of the use of your likeness in media communications including printed advertising, website, social media or any other means selected by the bank.

October Hometown Happenings


10/3: Carnegie Library Young Adult Book Club, 4pm-5pm 

10/5: Carnegie Library Storytime, 10:15am-10:45am 

10/5: Great River Arts Open Mic Night, 7pm-9pm 

10/7: Pine Grove Zoo Fest, 11am-3pm 

10/8: Blessing of Animals, 12pm-1pm 

10/10: Carnegie Library Young Adult Book Club, 4pm-5pm

10/11: Royalton Library - Jewelry Stamping Workshop, 6pm-7:30pm 

10/12: Carnegie Library Storytime, 10:15am-10:45am

10/12: Carnegie Library Cartoon Movie Night, 4:30pm-6:30pm 

10/15: Act-oberfest at the Falls Ball Room, 2pm-4pm 

10/17: Carnegie Library Young Adult Book Club, 4pm-5pm

10/17: Carnegie Library LEGO Club, 5:30pm-6:30pm

10/19: Alice's Attic Early Halloween Party

10/19: Royalton - No School

10/19: Carnegie Library Storytime, 10:15am-10:45am  

10/19: Carnegie Library Tech Time, 5pm-7pm  

10/19: Fall Family Fun Day at Minnesota Fishing Museum - For more information call 320-616-2011 

10/20: Alice's Attic Early Halloween Party

10/20: Royalton - No School

10/20: Carnegie Library Adult Anime Club, 4:30pm-5:30pm  

10/20: Fabulous Armadillos at the Falls Ballroom - Tickets on sale now at Habitat for Humanity office - For more information call 320-616-2084

10/21: Alice's Attic Early Halloween Party

10/23: Sara Thomsen Concert, 7pm-8:30pm  

10/23: Royalton - No School

10/25: Carnegie Library Connie Lounsbury Presents Hobos of the Great Depression, 6pm-7pm

10/25: Royalton Library - Halloween Storytime! 5pm-5:45pm 

10/26: Carnegie Library Storytime, 10:15am-10:45am

10/26: Carnegie Library - Not You Little Brother's Movie Night, 4:30pm-6:30pm

10/26: Carnegie Library - Zombie Prom, 6:30pm-8:30pm 

10/27: Carnegie Library Trick-or-Read, 3:30pm-5:30pm

10/31: Participating Little Falls Business Trick or Treating, 3:30pm-5pm

10/31: Trick or Treat - Rice Main Street, 3pm-5pm

10/31: Haunted Stage at Royalton School,  5:30pm-8:30pm

Lights, Camera, Save! Teen Video Contest

Lights, Camera, Save! Teen Video Contest Underway at Pine Country Bank

Winner eligible for a $5,000 grand prize

Little Falls, MN – Pine Country Bank is accepting submissions for its Lights, Camera, Save! video contest. The contest, organized by the American Bankers Association Foundation, is a national competition that encourages teens to use video to communicate the value of saving money and inspire their peers to become lifelong savers.

"Lights, Camera, Save! gives local students an opportunity to harness their creativity, learn about using money wisely and communicate those lessons with their peers," said Rob Ronning, President of Pine Country Bank. "A strong financial education is critical to a successful future and we are thrilled to participate in a contest that reinforces that message.”

To participate, students of Little Falls, Royalton and Sauk Rapids-Rice (ages 13-18) must create a video, 90-seconds or less, on saving and using money wisely and submit a link to the video along with a completed entry form to the bank at by Dec. 1.

Pine Country Bank will host the first round of judging and select a winner to receive $200. The teacher …. The winner will then be entered to compete on the national level for a prize up to $5,000, plus a scholarship for a teacher at their school to attend the annual Jump$tart National Educator Conference.

Videos will be judged on their quality, message, content and the criteria set forth by the contest's official rules.

To learn more about Lights, Camera, Save!, visit or contact Brittney at

Pine Country Bank is a full-service community bank with four locations in Minnesota—Rice, Little Falls, Royalton and Bowlus. Through its Hometown Pledge program, the bank donates 5% of its annual income to local communities.

Mortgage Do's and Don'ts For 2017

DO check your credit report to make sure it’s accurate. By law you are entitled to one free credit report every year. Learn more here.

DO lower your debt-to-income ratio by spending money only on the most urgent purchases.
DON’T take on too much house. We recommend spending no more than 30% of your take-home pay on housing costs.
We have a wide range of financing programs available, we'll find the best option for you:

  • Conventional Fixed Rate Mortgages
  • Construction Loans
  • Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs)
  • VA Loans
  • FHA Loans
  • USDA Rural Housing Loans
  • Free pre-approval for extra confidence when it comes to securing financing

We’re always here for you and your mortgage questions and needs—we're Your Hometown Bank. Contact Katie today to review your options.

Seven Tips for Healthy Saving Habits

1. Pay yourself first.

If you wait to see what's left over, you are less likely to save. Determine in advance how much money you plan to keep on deposit each month. If you receive a raise, increase the amount of money deposited into your savings account.

2. Take advantage of bank technology.

Consider automatic payroll deductions or automatic transfer from checking to savings. Arrange to have a specific amount transferred to your savings account every pay period.

3. Pay your bills on time-and pay more than the minimum amount.

Although 97 percent of Americans pay their bills on time, some consumers find themselves paying late fees. Alleviate the hassle by scheduling time once a month to pay bills, and put them in the mail with enough time to get to the creditor.

4. Determine needs versus wants.

Do you need to eat out every day for lunch? Do you need that gourmet cup of coffee in the morning? By bringing your lunch to work a couple days a week, you can save hundreds of dollars a year.

5. Shop around.

There are thousands of options for financial services products. Be selective, and get the best prices, services, convenient locations and lowest fees for credit cards, bank accounts, mortgages and CDs.

6. Consider investments.

For long-term goals, such as saving for a home or retirement, look into bonds, mutual funds, real estate and stocks.

7. Consult your local bank.

Ask which package of bank products and services would best suit your needs. Your banker is the best source of information about accounts and interest rates available at your bank.

From the American Bankers Association

Student Banking Powered by Pine Country Bank

Students! Open an account today and get a free power bank!

*Subject to successful qualification and opening of account, see a banker for details. Off er available to students aged 16-24, new checking account customers only.

Not valid with any other promotion or offer. Normal account restrictions and fees apply. Limit one promotion per customer. Available while supplies last.

Scams Can Happen - Learn to Spot Them

5 Simple Ways to Spot an Email Scam

1. The domain does not match up - Check who the email is from - the email domain (which is in bold below) is a dead giveaway if it is a scam, for example if you were to receive an email from Pine Country Bank it would be from an email like;

2. Your full name is not used - When you open an email if it begins with "Dear user, Dear customer, etc." you should be a little suspicious. Most legitimate emails will be personally addressed to you using your full name.

3. A request for personal information to be sent via email - If a legitimate business needs you to update any kind of personal information this is almost always done on the business's website. A potential scam is if the email you receive asks you to respond to the email with any kind of personal information.

4. Poor grammar and spelling - This is one of the easiest to spot, if you open an email and it is very poorly written (spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, etc.) this is a a strong indicator that it is not from a legitimate source.

5. Requires immediate action - If you receive an email urging you to take immediate action, be wary. Call the business at their direct business line to confirm if the email was a scam or not.

There are a number of other ways you can protect yourself from email scams, but these are a few that will help you spot a scam much quicker!

Chris Schulte to Serve on the Board of Directors

As a small business owner, I understand the importance of having a bank you can rely on and look forward to bringing my knowledge of the local community to Pine Country Bank. I believe in businesses that support the local economy so I am proud to serve on the board of an organization that is so community-focused.

Saving Money During Summer Vacation

Summer is the time for vacations, but how do you go about saving money during this time of year?

Here are some simple tips and tricks for saving money even when you are planning a vacation:

1. Get a credit card with rewards - the more you use it responsibly the more you get back

2. Have money automatically transferred to your savings account regularly - Example: every pay day take "x" percentage and put it into savings

3. Plan ahead, if you need cash for your vacation, stop by your local bank first to avoid ATM fees

4. Take advantage of coupons - many local newspapers and inserts include gas coupons to help you save on that upcoming road trip

5. Find free activities - during the summer months there are tons of free things to do such as planning a beach day at the local lake or taking a bike ride with the family