Fort Smith metro bank deposits rise to $4.3 billion, up 4.7%

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 54 views 

Consumers and businesses in the Fort Smith metro area socked away more than $4.312 billion in 20 area banks across the region as of June 30, 2015. This is up compared to $4.116 million reported by the same banks in June 2014, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s annual deposit summary report released Monday (Sept. 28).

The Fort Smith banking sector followed a state and national trend of growing deposits led in part by consistent consumer savings, a modest uptick in personal income and reduced energy costs from lower oil prices over the past year.

Deposits held in the Natural State grew to $56.497 billion over the past year, a gain of 4.99% from 2014, according to the FDIC report. The Fort Smith metro area banks hold 7.6% of the deposits in Arkansas. This compared to 16% of the state banking deposit marketshare held in the larger Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers metro area.

First National Bank, which has a presence also in Northwest Arkansas, held firm to its first place market share in the Fort Smith metro. The bank has 15 offices in the market and holds more than $905 million in customer deposits which is 21% of the market share. Deposits at First National rose nearly 3% from the same period last year ($878.95 million).

In August, Sam T. SIcard, CEO of First National Bank Corp., said the bank has seen steady deposit growth, from existing consumers saving more and new customers joining the bank. He attributed that growth to an improving overall economy. 

Arvest Bank held its solid second place in terms of market share. The bank grew its market share to 18.19% from 16.5% a year ago. The bank reports deposits of $784.53 million as of June. Deposits increased by $105 million year-over-year, a gain of 15.4% compared to June 2014. 

CONSUMER STRENGTH
Rodney Shepard, president for the Arvest Fort Smith market which stretches from Sallisaw, Okla., said commercial lending has been flat. He said the competition for car loans has never been greater and banks are often priced out of the market.

“We are seeing our deposits grow in this market. Some of it’s related to more saving but also we are growing the customer base,” he added.

The U.S. Department of Commerce reported Monday (Sept. 28) consumer spending rose at a healthy rate in August. Consumer spending advanced 0.4% compared to July, when spending also increased by 0.4%. In both months, the figures reflected strong gains in purchases of durable goods such as autos.

Consumer spending accounts for two-thirds of economic activity, and the latest result supports expectations for it to remain strong in the second half of this year.

"Overall consumer spending remains robust and highlights a solid employment backdrop," said Bricklin Dwyer, an economist at BNP Paribas. "We expect firm spending ahead as employment remains solid and wages begin to accelerate."

Personal income was up 0.3% in August, helped by another solid increase in wages and salaries, according to the Commerce Dept.  The result follows a 0.5% income gain in July, which had been the best showing in eight months. The personal saving rate as a percentage of disposable personal income was 4.6% in August, according to the Commerce Dept. Over the past year the annual savings rate has ranged from 5.3% of income in January to 4.6% as of August. The personal savings rate in August was flat to a year ago. 

ARMSTRONG BANK MOVES UP
BancorpSouth-based in Tupelo, Miss., also grew its deposit market share in Fort Smith. The bank held deposits of $499.88 million as of June 30. That was good enough to garner 11.59% of the local market share. A year ago the bank held $482.13 million in deposits with a market share of 11.23%.

Muskogee, Okla.,-based Armstrong Bank, which recently acquired Fort Smith-based Benefit Bank moved into the fourth spot with deposits of $334.854 million or 7.76% of the total market share. A year ago Armstrong had deposits of $168.55 million, while Benefit Bank’s deposits were $163.97 million. The combined banks grew the Fort Smith deposits by $2.33 million or slightly less than 1% year-over-year. Armstrong banking execs remain hopeful about the growth potential for the pro forma bank hoping to benefit from operational synergies and improving economy. 

Citizens Bank & Trust reported a deposit market share of 7.57% as of June 30. The bank had deposits of more than $325.65 million, rising 2.62% from a year ago. 

The Central National Bank of Poteau, unseated Regions Bank for the No. 6 spot in deposit market share in the 2015 report. The bank held deposits of $188.83 million, for 4.38% share. This compared to $188.55 million or 4.53% of the market share in 2014.

Regions Bank held deposits of $187.15 million in June, which was 4.34% of the local market share. At seventh place, Regions’ deposits fell from $203.69 million, an 8% drop from a year ago.

Other banks serving the Fort Smith area such as Farmers Bank and Bank of the Ozarks  also grew their bank deposits from a year ago. Greenwood-based Farmers Bank held 3.61% of the deposits in the region. That equated to $155.83 million, a 5.5% jump from the $147.71 million reported in June 2014.

Also growing deposits was Bank of the Ozarks who held 3.11% of the market share with deposits of $134 million as of June 30. This  compared to 3.05% or $125,392 million a year ago. 

Centennial Bank, like Regions was among those banks losing deposits and market share from a year ago. Centennial Bank has 1.06% of the deposits totaling $45.669 million as of June 30. This compared to $51.209 million in deposits for 1.24% of the total market share.

FORT SMITH METRO – SUMMARY OF DEPOSITS (June 30, 2015)
20.99% — First National Bank Fort Smith: $905.01 million
18.19% — Arvest Bank: $874.53 million
11.59% — BancorpSouth : $499.88 million
7.76% — Armstrong Bank: $334.85 million
7.57% — Citizens Bank & Trust: $326.65 million
4.38% — Central National Bank Poteau: $188.83 million
4.34% — Regions Bank: $187.15 million
3.91% — Community State Bank: $168.7 million
3.77% — Firstar Bank: $162.78 million
3.61% — Farmers Bank: $155.83 million
3.11% — Bank of the Ozarks: $134 million
2.31% — Simmons First National: $99.69 million
1.50% — First National Bank Heavener: $64.83 million
1.13% — Spriro State Bank: $ 48.57 million
1.12% — U.S. Bank: $48.13 million
1.06% — Centennial Bank: $45.66 million
1.04% — Allied Bank Mulberry: $44.989 million
0.98% — First Bank: $42.458 million
0.96% — Chambers Bank: $40.82 million
0.67% — First Western Bank: $29.09 million