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News / Business / Clark County Business

First Citizens Bank opens a big branch in east Vancouver

National bank provides full services from new office

By Sarah Wolf, Columbian staff writer
Published: September 19, 2023, 3:27pm
2 Photos
*LEADOPTION* First Citizens Bank has opened this 5,900-square-foot branch on Southeast Park Plaza Drive. It's the first Clark County location for the North Carolina-based bank.
*LEADOPTION* First Citizens Bank has opened this 5,900-square-foot branch on Southeast Park Plaza Drive. It's the first Clark County location for the North Carolina-based bank. (Taylor Balkom/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

Driving down Mill Plain Boulevard in east Vancouver, it’s hard to miss the new grand First Citizens Bank building that opened this summer.

The bank, which is headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., opened its 5,900-square-foot building at 205 S.E. Park Plaza Drive at the end of July.

“We found that there’s been a lot of growth in Vancouver,” said Nancy Tarabochia-Hart, area executive for First Citizens Bank. First Citizens previously operated a business banking office in Vancouver, where its served business and commercial clients.

“Once you start building those relationships, from a bigger picture and long-term approach, clients want to be able to work with you on the consumer end and be able to come into the branch,” said Tarabochia-Hart. “We take that long-term approach at everything we do in building relationships.”

With the business banking office growing substantially, clients began requesting more full-service operations in Vancouver.

“It was time for us to really take that to the next level,” she added.

Unlike some national banks that have many small branches, First Citizens Bank tends to open larger offices on the West Coast. Each location offers a variety of services to meet the needs of businesses, commercial and consumer clients.

First Citizens mostly focuses on business and commercial banking, but also offers consumer banking. So, people can come in to open a savings account, a business account or a get commercial loan.

“We’re full-service that way,” said Tarabochia-Hart.

The bank also has a full-service location in Lake Oswego, Ore., and one in downtown Portland. The location in Portland is being replaced by one in Beaverton, Ore.

The company is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year.

The east Vancouver location officially opened July 31, though the company is holding its grand opening ceremony there this week.

First Citizens has 10 associates currently working in Vancouver, but the company plans to expand.

More and more financial institutions have opened in the county in the last several years. Richland-based HAPO Community Credit Union opened here in 2017. And Washington Trust Bank of Spokane announced last year that it planned to expand into Southwest Washington.

First Citizens will be one of the larger banks to open in the county, with $89.4 billion in deposits outside of Clark County as of June 2022, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

Because First Citizens only had a business banking office in Vancouver, it didn’t have any retail deposits in the county as of June 2022.

National banks have a large market share of deposits within the county, the FDIC reports. JP Morgan Chase Bank held the largest share at 22.57 percent of banking deposits in the Clark County in June 2022, while Bank of America had the second largest, 16.7 percent.

That being said, with the merger of Umpqua Bank and Columbia State Bank, Portland-based Umpqua may now have surpassed Bank of America in terms of the local market share. In June of last year, Umpqua held 13.36 percent of the county’s deposit market share and Columbia had 4.36 percent.

These numbers don’t include the deposits held by any of the several credit unions that operate in Clark County.