Deposits in Colorado Springs area financial institutions at mid-year grew at less than half the rate of a year ago, which was the fastest rise in 14 years, according to reports from regulators.
But it's still not bad, compared with the growth rate nationally. Area banks and credit unions saw a 4.6 percent increase in deposits since June 30, 2012, to $10.1 billion. That's less than a percentage point slower than the nationwide growth rate of 5.3 percent, and 1.5 percentage points below the statewide growth of 6.1 percent.
Tom Binnings, senior partner in Summit Economics LLC, a local economic research and consulting firm, said the slowdown in deposit growth "is not concerning" and is consistent with economic data that show the Colorado Springs job market growing at a slower rate than either the state's or the nation's.
Much of the deposit growth was concentrated among the area's biggest banks and credit unions, with more than half of the increase coming from just three financial institutions: Ent Federal Credit Union, Chase Bank and U.S. Bank, which are ranked the first, third and fourth largest among local financial institutions, based on deposits.
Chase Bank added the most - nearly $95 million, a 13.2 percent jump from a year earlier. Its growth was fueled by a flurry of new branch openings in recent years and expansion of its private client services for wealthy customers, the bank said in a statement.
The deposit gains in Colorado Springs came in spite of the biggest round of local branch closings in at least 15 years. The number of branches fell from a year ago by nine to 190 - a 4.5 percent drop. It's the fewest number of local branches since 2005.
Previously, the largest number of branch closings in a year were three each in 1995 and 2001.That included three branches closed by UMB Bank, two by FirstBank and one each by Chase Bank, Air Academy Federal Credit Union, Aventa Credit Union and First Citizens Bank, which exited the Colorado Springs market.
Branch consolidation began in the Springs area in 2011, but has been underway nationally for four years, with banks closing more than 3,200 branches since 2009 and downsizing many others as more customers do their banking on home computers or mobile devices. Since the Great Recession, banks have had little need to invest heavily in new branches, since loan demand has been weak and both consumers and businesses have been holding onto cash amid a sluggish economic recovery.
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