Wells Fargo makes surge in Clark County

It jumps from 4th place to 1st, making it largest bank based on deposits

By Gordon Oliver, Columbian business editor

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Wells Fargo has jumped ahead of its competitors to become Clark County's largest bank, as measured by deposits, while regional Sterling Bank and Vancouver-based Riverview Community Bank both slipped in market share and deposits over the 12 month period that ended June 30.

San Francisco-based Wells Fargo, with 10 Clark County branches, captured 17.6 percent of Clark County's market share, with $806.5 million in deposits, according to the Summary of Deposits report released Monday by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. In last year's report, Wells Fargo had a 12.7 percent market share with $555.7 million in deposits and was the county's fourth-largest bank.

JPMorgan Chase, which dropped from first to second place, actually increased its deposits from $723 million to $738 million, even as its market share fell by a half-percent to 16.1 percent. Bank of America remained in third place with it's market share holding steady at abut 13.8 percent.

Spokane-based Sterling Bank, last year's second-largest and this year's fourth-largest bank, saw its market share drop from 14.9 percent to 13.1 percent. Its assets also declined, from $651 million to $602 million. Sterling acquired the former Vancouver-based First Independent Bank before the 2012 report,

For many years, First Independent and Vancouver-based Riverview Community Bank jockeyed for position among the county's top five banks. First Independent is gone, and this year Riverview dropped to sixth place, with slightly less than 10 percent of market share — a one percent drop from 2012.

Mark Trupp, a Wells Fargo vice president and Vancouver community banking district manager, attributed his bank's growth to a "flight to stability" by consumers who appreciate its longevity in an era of rapid industry change. Trupp said that Wells Fargo benefits from its many community activities and those of its employees, its thorough assessment of customer needs, and its wide range of services.

Wells Fargo's branches are well-positioned in Clark County, although it would like to open a branch in the Salmon Creek area, Trupp said.

All told, the county's 16 banks held $4.58 billion in deposits, up from $4.36 billion last year. During the course of the year, West Coast Bank folded into Columbia State Bank, which is now the eighth-largest Clark County bank. First Republic Bank made the list for the first time, with one branch that provides trust services and has no recorded deposits. Clark County's banks have a combined 94 branches, down from 97 in 2012.

The local banking scene will change again before next year's report, with Portland-based Umpqua Bank's planned acquisition of Sterling in the first half of next year. Sterling is the larger of the two banks in Clark County due to its own acquisition of the former First Independent. Umpqua, the seventh-largest bank in Clark County, has a 6.7 percent market share.