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MINNEAPOLIS-Community First Bankshares Inc. has signed leases to open bank branches next year in Lino Lakes, Blaine and Lakeville, all Twin Cities suburbs. The bank has 19 branches in the state; all but its branch in Ramsey are in outstate Minnesota locations.

Pending regulatory approval, the Fargo, ND-based financial company wants to “further enhance our growing market position” in the Twin Cities, says Mark Anderson, president and CEO Anderson.

The bank plans to grow in markets where it has a presence, adding 30 new offices by 2007. The company also bought a Colorado insurance agency in October, its 17th insurance acquisition since the beginning of 2000.

Community First Bankshares, a $5.5-billion financial services company, provides banking, investment, insurance, mortgage and trust products to individuals and businesses. The company got its start in buying rural branches from US Bank in the 1990s. The bank has 136 full-service offices in 12 states—-Arizona, California, Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

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