ARCHIVED  January 1, 1998

Competition name of game for region’s banking sector

Leading economic indicators

Competition name of game for region’s banking sector

Banks will emphasize new products, services

Christopher Wood

Business Report Editor
Look for more of the same for the region’s banking sector during 1998, with branching, mergers and, possibly, new names coming into the market.
The past couple of years have turned the banking industry into something akin to gas stations: There˜s one on virtually every street corner, with more sprouting up all the time.
Eaton Bank is expanding to the Del Camino area of Weld County, while 1st Choice Bank is adding a location in Greeley. Home State Bank is heading into Laporte, and Firstate Bank of Northglenn has expanded into this market.
In the most recent announcement, First State Bank of Fort Collins revealed plans for its first branch, to be located at 1112 Oakridge Drive, just south of Harmony Road near Lemay Avenue.
The retail location points to another trend in local banking, low-cost, consumer-oriented banking locations that deviate from the traditional "brick-and-mortar," street-corner locations that have dominated banking for more than a century.
Other banks have embraced retail banking as well, noted Tom Byington, president of First State Bank, referring to Bank One˜s presence in Albertson˜s grocery stores and other banks˜ movement in that direction.
"It˜s pretty interesting," Byington said.
Byington said that most of the local banks that wanted to expand in the market have done so.
"I think the regional kinds of banks that were going to expand have expanded," he said.
But, he noted, the region could see some new names in the banking sector due to mergers on a national scale, especially as interstate branch banking is fully phased in.
"When that occurs, you˜re going to see more and more mergers," he said.
Additionally, some banks that have expanded into the Denver and Colorado Springs markets might next turn their sights on Northern Colorado.
Such competition forces banks to develop new products, seek new locations, find a niche and emphasize service.
"There˜s no question that the consumer has more choices, and that just means more competition," Byington said. "It˜s clearly more competitive. There˜s not question about it."
Byington said that while many local banks have expanded into other cities within Northern Colorado, First State will stick with the market it knows.
"Our feeling is that there˜s going to be plenty of growth in Fort Collins," he said.

Leading economic indicators

Competition name of game for region’s banking sector

Banks will emphasize new products, services

Christopher Wood

Business Report Editor
Look for more of the same for the region’s banking sector during 1998, with branching, mergers and, possibly, new names coming into the market.
The past couple of years have turned the banking industry into something akin to gas stations: There˜s one on virtually every street corner, with more sprouting up all the time.
Eaton Bank is expanding to the Del Camino area of Weld County, while 1st Choice Bank is adding a location in Greeley. Home State Bank is heading into…

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