Great Southern Bancorp Inc. was not a buyer of other institutions for most of its 86-year history, but a few months ago the Springfield, Mo., company saw an unusual opportunity across state lines.

TeamBank in Paola, Kan., had been hard-hit by residential construction loans and was struggling to survive. But it was an attractive target, with 17 branches in Nebraska, Missouri and its home state — a market where Great Southern had operations and wanted to expand — and brokered deposits making up just 3.6% of its total. Great Southern watched from the sidelines, and when regulators seized TeamBank this month, it pounced.

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