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Ag-oriented Rabobank to open 2 branches in Modesto

Modestans soon will have a new place to put their money as Rabobank N.A. is set to open two branches in town.

The central-coast-based company has 87 branches throughout the state, from Roseville to the Imperial Valley. Those include two branches in Merced and one each in Turlock and Atwater, which opened this week. A Los Banos branch is set to open soon.

The bank filed applications to the federal Office of the Comptroller of the Currency for Modesto locations at 1407 I St. downtown and 1400 Standiford Ave. in north Modesto. The applications can be approved by the comptroller after a 30-day public comment period.

Andy Frokjer, Rabobank vice president, advertising and communications manager, said the bank hopes to have the Modesto branches open by early summer.

He said the company's aggressive move into the Central Valley makes sense given its history as a provider of agricultural financing and other banking products to the state's farmers, ranchers and the like.

"I think what attracts us to the greater Modesto area is obviously the agricultural base there," he said. "We're a community bank and we're one of the leading agricultural lenders in California. It makes a lot of sense for us to have branches in the area to serve existing customers that we have, as well as, obviously, future customers."

He said the bank would begin hiring about 20 to 30 employees for the Modesto locations in the coming weeks.

Rabobank N.A. is part of Netherlands-based Rabobank Group, one of the world's largest banking firms.