Bank of Idaho adds West Boise branch

Sharon Fisher//October 7, 2019

Bank of Idaho adds West Boise branch

Sharon Fisher//October 7, 2019

photo of bank of idaho
The Bank of Idaho West Boise branch is so new it doesn’t even have real signs yet. Photo by Sharon Fisher

After expanding to downtown Boise and downtown Nampa, Idaho Falls-based Bank of Idaho has suddenly opened a West Boise branch, as well as starting to trade its stock.

The branch is located at 6981 W. Overland Road in a former First Interstate Bank branch, which closed in June, according to branch staff.

“This West Overland Road opening has been lean, mean and lightning fast in true Bank of Idaho fashion with minimal construction,” said spokeswoman Lisa Fischbach in an email message. “This location of a former bank was empty and available.”

The new location is being staffed by five members from the company’s downtown branch, which opened this year: Charlie Kouba, vice president commercial banking manager; Surbir Chadha, vice president commercial loan officer; Caroline Kennedy, retail branch manager; Katelyn Shaw, loan assistant and Lacy Beck, universal banking associate. The five staffers had worked together as a team before joining Bank of Idaho, Fischbach said.

‘Hey, let’s put a branch there’

photo of jeff newgard
Jeff Newgard

President and CEO Jeff Newgard – who has said he can open a branch with a five-gallon bucket and a card table, if he has the right staff – decided to open the location spontaneously.

“Jeff Newgard and I were driving around, and we drove by this one – it was a vacant bank,” Kouba said in a YouTube video describing the West Overland branch’s genesis. “And we looked at it, and Jeff knew that landlord personally and called him on the phone and says, ‘Man, we’re interested in this building.’ And literally that deal was made in about 35 seconds on the phone.”

The West Boise branch will be the bank’s ninth in the state since it opened in 1985.

The bank, which was previously privately held, has also begun trading, according to a press release issued by OTC Markets Group Inc., operator of financial markets for 10,000 U.S. and global securities. Bank of Idaho Holding Co., the sole owner of Bank of Idaho, qualified to trade on the OTCQX Best Market and began trading on Oct. 2 under the symbol “BOID,” the organization said.

Living up to its name

Bank of Idaho has been busy in recent months. In August, it expanded to Nampa with a loan production office to offer commercial loans. The office opened in temporary space in the downtown Historic Library building’s second floor.

This temporary Nampa location will be replaced by an actual branch at 324 12th Ave S. Like the West Boise branch, it was formerly home to another bank, in that case a KeyBank. The state-chartered commercial bank hopes to open the permanent location – which will now be its tenth – by Dec. 1.

Bank of Idaho is headquartered in Idaho Falls, where it moved into The Broadway last year. In January, the bank had a soft opening in downtown Boise in the One Capital Center building, also known as the CenturyLink Building, where the J.R. Simplot Company had previously had its offices. Simplot vacated 120,000 square feet at One Capital Center in February 2017 with its move to its new corporate headquarters at 11th and Front streets.

Newgard said at the time of the opening of the downtown Boise branch that it was likely to be the first of several expansions for Bank of Idaho, though he wouldn’t provide specifics on other locations. He did indicate, though, that Twin Falls, where the company currently has mortgage operations, was definitely on the list for a future branch.

Ironically, the downtown Nampa temporary location was also originally a bank. It was built in 1919 as the Farmers and Merchants Bank. First Security Bank donated the building to the library in 1966. The Nampa Development Corp., the city’s redevelopment agency, awarded Nampa developer Mike Mussell the building for development for $1 in 2015.