Answers to Questions You May Have Regarding the Merger of Bluestem Financial Corp. and Pontiac Bancorp, Inc.
Do you have a question regarding the transition from Bluestem National Bank to Bank of Pontiac?
We are here to help! We want to answer your questions and concerns and make this transition as smooth and trouble-free for you as possible. For further information, you may also call Bank of Pontiac during regular business hours by phone 815-844-6155. Our website also contains a large amount of information about Bank of Pontiac, its products and services, and its branch locations and hours.
Q. What is happening to the name "Bluestem National Bank?"
A. The legal name of the bank is now Bank of Pontiac and is called Bluestem Bank, Branch of Bank of Pontiac.
Q. How does this merger benefit Bluestem National Bank customers?
A. You benefit in many ways! Customers will benefit from the combined banks in several ways, the most obvious being the addition of four branches and seven ATMs throughout Livingston County. We offer many of the great similar financial products including Interest Checking, Money Market accounts, Savings, Business Checking, farm management, CDs and IRA accounts as well as a wide variety of loans including mortgage loans, home equity loans, HELOCs, personal loans and business loans. We also offer FREE Checking, FunTimer Checking and Mobile Banking.
You can actually use any Bank of Pontiac ATM right now, surcharge FREE!!!
Q. How does this merger benefit Bank of Pontiac customers?
A. You also benefit! Customers will benefit from the combined banks with the addition of a branch, Drive-Up facility and two ATMs in Fairbury along with a branch and Drive-Up facility in Forrest.
Q. I really like the people I bank with at Bluestem National Bank. Is all of that going to change?
A. You will continue to be taken care of by the same friendly, professional staff that takes care of you now. We are distributing the responsibility for decision into each of the branches, as they are best equipped to know their own customers personally. You may even see a few new faces.
Q. Will the hours of the Bluestem National Bank branches and Drive-Up facilities change?
A. Yes, effective March 4th, the hours changed to the following:
||Monday – Friday: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
||Saturday: 9:00 a.m. to Noon
||Monday – Thursday: 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
||Friday: 7:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
||Saturday: 7:00 a.m. to Noon
||Monday – Friday: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
||Saturday: 9:00 a.m. to Noon
||Monday – Thursday: 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
||Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
||Saturday: 8:00 a.m. to Noon
Q. What is the timeline for the conversion of my Bluestem National Bank accounts to Bank of Pontiac accounts?
A. The final step in the transition process is scheduled to occur during the weekend of June 7, 2013. At that time, your accounts will automatically convert to similar types of accounts at Bank of Pontiac, and you will begin to see Bank of Pontiac signs on your branches and ATM locations.
We are very pleased to welcome you as a Bank of Pontiac customer! At Bank of Pontiac, you'll find that we are committed to understanding what's important to you, so we can provide the best solutions for all your financial needs. In the meantime, we're working to make the transition easy for you.
Q. How will my bank accounts be affected?
A. Over the weekend of June 7, 2013, your Bluestem National Bank accounts will be converted from Bluestem National Bank’s operating system to Bank of Pontiac’s operating system. At that time, all deposit and loan accounts will automatically be integrated into Pontiac’s system. A final Bluestem National Bank statement will be generated at the end of the business day on Friday, June 7, 2013.
The grid below contains the corresponding Bank of Pontiac account names for the existing accounts offered by Bluestem National Bank. If you have a business account, please pay special attention to new fees that will apply. Senior and Student service charge fees will be waived on Everyday Checking Accounts and Savings Accounts.
The new account names and corresponding rates and service fees will begin to apply on Monday, June 10, 2013.
For those customers that currently have Checking Plus, the service will now be Overdraft Protection. There will be no annual fees for this service. There will be a $3.00 fee on each occasion that funds are advanced to your Checking account. The advances will be in $50 increments. The interest rate for personal accounts will be 9.90%. The interest rate for commercial accounts will be 9.50%.
Q. What changes will be made to account numbers? Can I continue to use the same checks I have today?
A. Yes, you can continue to use the same checks and deposit slips you use today until the data processing conversion is completed. Account numbers will remain the same for the majority of customers. In the event of a duplicate account number, the customer will be notified so steps can be taken to open a new account. Customers can continue to use their existing supply of checks after the operating system change; however, when it is time to reorder, the checks will need to include Bank of Pontiac’s routing number of 071122263.
Q. Will the interest rates and terms on my CDs, IRAs, and loans remain the same?
A. Yes, however, after the data processing conversion is completed, there may be new maturity options available.
Q. Will the interest rates and terms on my checking, money market, and savings accounts change?
A. Yes, these rates may change. You will be notified well in advance of any changes.
Q. Is direct deposit available at Bank of Pontiac? Will they continue as usual?
A. Yes, Direct Deposit of Social Security, pension, payroll or government payments will continue without interruption. We will notify the originators of routing number changes and might need you to follow up with them.
Q. If I have my payments automatically deducted from my checking account, will that continue?
A. Yes, there may be some additional paperwork to fill out, but you will otherwise be able to continue this service. We will notify the originators of routing number changes and might need you to follow up with them.
Q. Will the fees for bank services change?
A. Yes, some fees may change before the data processing conversion is completed while others may change once the data processing conversion is completed. The fees you pay for various banking services will be the same as for all Bank of Pontiac customers. You will be notified of these new fees prior to that date.
Q. Will my bank routing number change?
A. Yes, Bank of Pontiac's routing number is 071122263. However, please do not change your current routing number with originators until after the data processing conversion is completed.
Q. When can I start using online banking and telephone banking?
A. You can continue to bank online at www.bluestem.com up to June 7, 2013. Beginning at 1:00 PM CST on Friday, June 7, 2013, Online Banking will be unavailable as the system is transferred to Bank of Pontiac. Please do not schedule any transfers or bill payments to occur after June 5, 2013.
Prior to the conversion, letters will be mailed to current Bluestem National Bank Online Banking customers with new login credentials for the Bank of Pontiac Online Banking system (NetTeller). Bill pay will not be converted; therefore, we suggest for you to print out your bill pay users so they can be entered into the new system after June 10, 2013.
Bluestem National Bank Telephone Banking customers will be reissued a temporary PIN to access Bank of Pontiac’s TeleBank 24. You will need to contact Bank of Pontiac for the new PIN.
Q. Will I receive a new ATM or Debit Card?
A. New ATM cards will be issued once you visit a Bank of Pontiac location and request a new ATM card. The Bluestem National Bank ATM cards will work through June 9, 2013. The new Bank of Pontiac ATM card will start working on June 10, 2013.
A new Bank of Pontiac MasterCard Debit Card and a new PIN will be mailed to current Bluestem National Bank Debit Card customers a few days prior to June 7, 2013. The Bluestem National Bank Debit Cards will work through 10:00 AM CST on June 10, 2013. The new Bank of Pontiac Debit Card will start working on June 10, 2013. Customers will need to activate their new card at an ATM. If you want to change your PIN number, that change can be made at a Bank of Pontiac location after the conversion.
Q. Where should I mail my loan payments?
A. Simply continue to mail your payments to the same address you have always mailed them. If changes are necessary, we'll provide you with information well in advance.
Q. Will my loan coupon book change?
A. Please continue to use your existing coupons and pay your loan as you always have. If there are any changes, you will be notified well in advance.
Q. What if I have a mortgage loan or other loan application in process?
A. If you have any specific questions, please contact your local Bank of Pontiac Loan Officer.
Q. Will FDIC insurance change on my accounts?
A. If you have funds on deposit at Bluestem National Bank and Bank of Pontiac on the date of the merger (December 31, 2012), your funds will continue to be insured separately by the FDIC for six months after the date of the merger (June 30, 2013). If your combined balance at both institutions is less than $250,000, your funds will continue to be fully insured after the end of the six month transition period. At the end of the six month transition period, your funds in excess of $250,000 (except for special rules concerning Certificates of Deposit) will no longer be insured. For assistance to determine if you are adequately insured, please feel free to contact a New Accounts Representative or visit www.fdic.gov for more information.
Q. Is there anything that I should be doing differently?
A. No. You can continue to do your business just as you always have. You'll continue to receive the same array of products and the high quality of service you have been accustomed to. If any product changes are made in the future, you will be notified well in advance.