Podcast: How One Community Bank Built a Nationwide Healthcare Equipment Finance Business

In 2009, Bank Midwest — a community institution in Spirit Lake, Iowa — found itself with extra liquidity and room on its balance sheet. The bank’s then-CEO, Steve Goodenow, got in touch with an old friend who had worked in equipment leasing, and together they began building a nationwide healthcare equipment finance business.

On the latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast, sponsored by Windstream Enterprise, Goodenow discusses how they built this business within a rural Iowa community bank. “We had capacity on our balance sheet, and he had experience,” he says. They eventually decided to avoid leasing and grew a business that finances equipment for office-based doctors, dentists and veterinarians across the lower 48 states. With an average ticket size of $50,000, the loans help medical offices acquire tools like ultrasound machines, dental chairs and dermatological lasers.

The equipment finance arm has brought 6,000 new customers to the bank, Goodenow says, and “we are working on strategies to develop and deepen the relationships that we have” and help move these customers into the bank’s other products. Today, the equipment finance business accounts for about 15 percent of Bank Midwest’s $700 million loan portfolio.

A member of the fifth generation of his family to run Bank Midwest, Goodenow also discusses the ongoing succession plan and how the company builds succession planning into “every position at every level.” He also talks about how Bank Midwest’s employee stock ownership program — through which employees currently own 15 percent of the company — helps the bank retain top talent in its markets.

This episode is sponsored by Windstream Enterprise:

If you can’t see the audio player above, click here to listen to this week’s episode.

In this episode:

Steve Goodenow
Bank Midwest

Evan Sparks
ABA Banking Journal

Shaun Kern
Senior Counsel