About Us

We’re a bank, and so much more, helping you build wealth through personal and business banking, mortgage, wealth management and insurance. But at heart, we’re people who use our work to build relationships and make a difference. 
Bell Bank employees posing by the Bell Bank car

Our Story

Bell is the largest family- and employee-owned bank in the upper Midwest, and one of the largest in the nation, with more than $13 billion in assets. That success is thanks to our many loyal customers, whose confidence in us has led to growth and opportunity.

When we opened our doors in 1966 with a single location in a north Fargo shopping center, our founders couldn't have dreamed of the growth the company would have. For decades, having happy employees and happy customers has been at the heart of the organization. Our values – creating a family atmosphere, treating our customers well and paying it forward to make our community a better place – are at the core of all we do.

Thomas “Buck” Snortland, one of the founders of State Bank of Fargo, was instrumental in helping set the tone for the company’s employee- and customer-friendly culture. Snortland family members have remained major shareholders ever since. Buck’s son, Thomas “Mickey” Snortland, was a dedicated board member for four decades and helped create the bank’s “bottom line” statement: “Happy Employees! Happy Customers!” His wife, Julie, was named to the holding company board of directors following Mickey’s passing in early 2013. Mickey’s sister Laura Snortland Fairfield is also a major shareholder and a longtime holding company board member.

"As a family- and employee-owned bank, we don’t have to focus on this quarter’s earnings. Instead, our employees are dedicated to doing what’s best for our customers."

- Michael Solberg, President and CEO
Bell Bank Family and Employee Owned logo
Bell Bank Ownership


Richard Solberg joined Bell Bank as its president in 1982 and remains the company's chairman. In partnership with the Snortland family as a major shareholder with his son, Michael, he has helped guide the bank through tremendous growth, while maintaining a people-focused culture. Michael Solberg has served as Bell's president since 2009 and was named CEO in 2014. He was the driving force behind creation of the bank's Pay It Forward program, which has empowered employees  to give millions to those in need.


Snortland Farm Rock Gathering


To honor Mickey's memory, Bell employees annually travel to his farmland to pick rocks to be used in our branches. In addition, a unique piece of 3-D artwork in Bell Bank’s boardroom depicts our company’s past, present and future.

Pay It Forward: Empowering Millions of Dollars in Grassroots Giving

16 Years

Launched in 2008

$30 Million

In Giving

$1,000 Annually

For Full-Time Employees

$500 Annually

For Part-Time Employees

Why You Can Be Confident with Bell Bank

5-star-bank-logo-June 2024Bell Bank has once again earned a 5-star rating (the highest possible) for financial strength and stability from BauerFinancial, the nation’s premier bank-rating firm. Year after year, Bauer has recommended Bell as a superior financial institution — following an in-depth analysis of regulatory, historical and other data.

“We’re incredibly proud to be ranked among the strongest banks in the country,” notes Michael Solberg, Bell’s president and CEO. “We’ve been privately owned since we were chartered in 1966. As a family- and employee-owned company, we’re free to make decisions based on long-term goals — not short-term gains. No matter what’s happening in the economy, we focus on being smart, nimble and efficient, growing through exceptional customer service and competitive pricing.”

An independent company that has been analyzing and reporting on the banking industry since 1983, Bauer rates every federally insured credit union and U.S. chartered bank with assets of at least $1.5 million against the same strict standards of capital adequacy, profitability, loan quality and more. Financial institutions do not pay for their ratings, and they cannot opt out.