While conducting research for a story on the sale of Oklahoma-based Grand Savings Bank to a local group of investors — signaling its likely move into the Bentonville market — a curious nugget was unearthed about the financial activity in the north Arkansas town of Mountain View, population 2,748.
Curious, only if you consider that a town with so few residents has seven banks doing business there.
Ozark Heritage is the only lender based in Mountain View. Centennial Bank (Conway) has two branches in the town, while The Citizens Bank (Batesville), First National Bank of Izard County (Calico Rock), First Security Bank (Searcy), First Service Bank (Greenbrier) and Simmons First National Bank (Pine Bluff) each operate an office there.
The eight branches have a combined $260.6 million in deposits, 0.49 percent of the state’s total, according to the latest FDIC data. Centennial, with 43 percent; Ozark Heritage, with 18.4 percent; and The Citizens Bank, with 10.4 percent, lead the city’s market share.
The 10,000-foot view, one local bank executive said, ties the proliferation of banks in the Stone County town with the arrival of the Fayetteville Shale gas production area several years ago.
“Everyone thought there would be significant increases in deposit dollars available,” our source said. “There was a large growth, but it’s since slowed dramatically.”