Where we've been


From its beginnings in Storm Lake, Iowa, to its current status as one of the top mid-size banks in the country, MetaBank has had a long journey since 1954. Once a vision of founder Stanley H. Haahr as a small-town bank that promoted thrift and homeownership, its mission maintains a customer focus.

At MetaBank, every customer should leave saying, “I love my bank!” What started as a $10,000 investment among friends decades ago has evolved into a system of branches whose goal it is to live out that mission every day.

1954 – Storm Lake Savings and Loan Association is chartered 

Founded by Stanley H. Haahr and 34 depositors, the principal objective was to promote thrift and home ownership. 

1957 – Name is changed to First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Storm Lake

The Association was converted to a Federal Charter, changing its name to First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Storm Lake.

1970 – Buys the Bradford Hotel site at Fifth and Erie

The hotel was demolished, and construction began on the new First Federal building. Construction was completed in time to move to our new headquarters in 1972.

1977-1981 – Maintains a mortgage banking operation

The two offices of First Services Mortgage Corporation were located in Sioux Falls and Rapid City, S.D.

1993 – Name is changed to First Federal Savings Bank of the Midwest

First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Storm Lake became First Federal Savings Bank of the Midwest, a subsidiary of First Midwest Financial, Inc. First Federal evolved from a mutual savings institution to a public company.

September 1993 – Enters the stock market

On Sept. 20, 1993, 1.9 million shares of stock in First Midwest Financial, Inc., were issued at $10 per share and began trading on the NASDAQ stock market under the symbol “CASH.”

1994 – Acquires Brookings Federal Bank

Brookings Federal Bank, a federal savings bank in Brookings, S.D., was acquired and operated as the Brookings Federal Bank Division of First Federal Savings Bank of the Midwest.

1995 – Acquires Iowa Savings Bank in Des Moines

Iowa Savings Bank in Des Moines was purchased and operated as the Iowa Savings Bank Division of First Federal Savings Bank of the Midwest.

2000 – Arrives in Sioux Falls, S.D.

First Federal opened the doors to its first Sioux Falls office – a temporary facility – on Sept. 6, 2000.

2001 – New building is constructed

Construction was completed for First Federal Sioux Falls new 12,000 square-foot bank building.

2004 – Payments division is established

Meta Payment Systems® (MPS), the bank’s electronic payment systems division, is established in Sioux Falls.

2005 – Name is changed to MetaBank

All bank divisions under First Federal change their names to MetaBank, inhabiting four market areas: Central Iowa; Northwest Iowa; Brookings, S.D.; and Sioux Falls, S.D.

2007 – MPS expands

MetaBank adds office space for administration and MPS in Sioux Falls and Omaha, Neb. At fiscal year-end, MPS had implemented more than 1,110 prepaid programs, issuing 35.7 million cards. MPS’s ATM sponsorship program grew from 28 percent market penetration in 2006 to 44 percent.

2008 – Meta Financial Group grows
MetaBank and MPS’s holding company, Meta Financial Group, Inc., grows to more than 400 employees, a 151 percent increase since 2006.

2009 – MetaBank goes retail, MPS is leading issuer

MetaBank introduces a new retail product line to meet customer demand and changes consumer debit card usage while cost-effectively offering new features to address growing consumer concerns regarding identity theft and account fraud. Meanwhile, MPS becomes the leading issuer of rebate and gift cards in the United States and worldwide, the No. 1 sponsor of ATMs in the nation and one of the top issuers of Visa, MasterCard and Discover prepaid cards.

2011 – James S. Haahr resigns as Chairman of the Board

James S. Haahr announced his resignation as Chairman of the Board after more than half a century of guiding the bank. J. Tyler Haahr was named Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer.

2012 – MetaBank among top-performing small-cap banks

MetaBank is included among the Sandler O’Neill and Partners “Bank and Thrift Sm-All Stars – Class of 2012.” The bank outpaces industry medians in growth, profitability, credit quality and capital strength to earn its spot as one of the top 25 performing small-cap banks in the country.

2013 – MetaBank receives accolades

MetaBank is named fifth in the nation among top-performing, mid-size banks by the American Banking Association Journal, and is ranked among the top 25 among the nation’s community banks and thrifts, according to American Banker Magazine.

2014 – MetaBank is named among the Top 200 Community Banks and Thrifts

MetaBank is named among the Top 200 Community Banks and Thrifts according to American Banker Magazine, and acquires AFS/IBEX – a specialty financing company. MPS surpasses 500 million prepaid cards issued. 

2015 – MetaBank acquires tax-services provider, Refund Advantage

MetaBank acquires tax-services provider, Refund Advantage. MPS reaches seven billion ACH transactions and 600 million prepaid cards issued.  

2016 – Strong growth marks MetaBank’s year

2016 – Strong growth in retail bank loan products and tax services marks MetaBank’s year, along with acquisitions of tax-service providers, EPS Financial and Specialty Consumer Services.