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DES MOINES, Iowa – In an ironic twist of fate, a senior vice president at the University of Iowa Community Credit Union has been hired as the market president at Hawkeye State Bank – the same institution the credit union sought to buy earlier this year but was thwarted by state regulators for having too much capital to close the deal. Lynn Rowat, former senior vice president and senior loan officer at UICCU started his first day at Hawkeye on June 30. Rowat will serve as market president for Hawkeye, which is in the process of being acquired by West Bancorp. Inc., the parent company of West Des Moines State Bank (West Bank). UICCU President/CEO Jeff Disterhoft said that Rowat’s last day at the credit union was June 24 ,and while they are “sad to see him go,” no hard feelings exist. The credit union is currently looking to fill the vacant position. “It’s a great opportunity for him and we wish him well,” Disterhoft said. In what would have been an industry first, the credit union entered into an agreement in late 2002 to buy Hawkeye, the fourth largest bank in Johnson County here with $96.7 million in deposits. UICCU is the fourth largest in the state with more than 38,000 members and nearly $300 million in assets. That proposal was rejected by James Forney, superintendent for the credit union division at the Iowa Department of Commerce in February 2003 because UICCU’s acquisition of $160 million in assets would have caused “regulatory concern.” At the time, Forney said “credit unions have certain levels of net worth they maintain but our concern was if you bring over $160 million to a credit union that is well capitalized (like UICCU) and apply that against net worth without bringing over the capital to supplement that net worth, it could be problematic.” The proposed acquisition angered the Iowa Bankers Association and the trade group drafted a bill that would assess the state’s five percent financial institution tax on state-chartered credit unions with $150 million or more in assets. Iowa’s state-chartered credit unions currently pay a state sales tax, property tax, employer tax and moneys and credit tax. The bill eventually died in the Senate in April after state legislators received 11,000 letters, 5,000 emails and a petition with 7,000 signatures supporting credit unions. More than 1,000 people attended a pro-credit union rally at the state’s capitol. Meanwhile, Rowat is no stranger to the banking community here having worked in commercial lending for 28 years at First National Bank, now US Bank. He joined UICCU in 2001. West Bank President Brad Winterbottom would not say whether the bank sought Rowat out or if the banking veteran expressed interest in the presidency post, emphasizing that bank officials were looking for someone with “deep (local) roots” and Rowat was “on our list.” Disterhoft said West Bank approached Rowat about the job, adding that he’s “good friends” with some of the bank’s executives. “He’s in the process of learning our operations and how things work here, we’re very excited to have him come aboard,” Winterbottom said. Rowat told the Iowa City Press Citizen he thinks the new role is a “very, very nice opportunity for me to advance in my career and to join a great organization,” adding ” the Iowa City market is a pretty competitive market, and I look forward to competing with all the other fine banking institutions that are already here in Johnson County.” West Bank’s pending acquisition of Hawkeye is scheduled to be completed by the end of July. At that time Rowat will assume his new role overseeing branch operations and expansion plans for Eastern Iowa, Winterbottom said. West Bank is the fifth-largest banking institution in Polk County here with eight branches and Hawkeye is the fifth-largest bank in Johnson County here with two offices. The $35 million Hawkeye deal marks the first acquisition by West Bancorp. of another bank in its 110-year history. -

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