Midwest banks have long been enamored with growth in sunny locations, but Enterprise Financial Services Corp. is using government-backed deals with loss-sharing agreements as protection.

In slightly more than a year, the $2.5 billion-asset St. Louis company has expanded its Arizona operations from one banker in a loan production office to $400 million of assets and four branches. It has done so by striking three deals with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., including last week's purchase of the $150 million-asset Legacy Bank in Scottsdale.

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