Fueled by Arvest, Northwest Arkansas and Fort Smith area bank deposits up 9%

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 856 views 

According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the retail banks that serve the Northwest Arkansas market grew their deposits by a combined 8.8% by mid-2017.

The FDIC released its annual Summary of Deposits (SOD) report Oct. 3, which reflects market share data from July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2017. The report is based on surveys by the FDIC and the Office of Thrift Supervision. All institutions with bank branches are required to submit the survey. The report does not include credit unions.

Altogether, 39 banks operating 305 branches in the six-county area of Northwest Arkansas — defined as Benton, Washington, Madison, Carroll, Sebastian and Crawford counties — held $14.7 billion in deposits as of June 30, according to the FDIC data. That’s up from $13.5 billion in mid-2016 and $12.7 billion in 2015.

The lion’s share of the increase reflected in the 2017 SOD report comes from Arvest Bank’s 24 banking offices in Benton County. The Fayetteville-chartered bank, owned by members of the Walton family, reported Benton County deposits of $3.3 billion as of June 30 this year, an increase of 29% compared to $2.5 billion on the same date last year.

Fed by the Benton County strength, Arvest Bank continues to dominate the deposit market share throughout Northwest Arkansas, with a combined $6.09 billion in 67 offices throughout the six-county region. That accounts for more than 41% of area deposits.

First National Bank of Fort Smith is No. 2 in deposits with $990.2 million among its 17 branch locations. Included in those totals is the bank’s local division, First National Bank of NWA, which has five locations in Benton County and one on Washington County.

At No. 3 is First Security Bank. The Searcy-chartered lender, also with 17 offices in the region, holds $800.1 million in deposits. Rounding out the top five are BancorpSouth Bank of Tupelo, Miss. (10 offices, $543.5 million in deposits) and Bank of America N.A. of Charlotte, N.C. (six offices, $541.8 million in deposits).

Among locally-owned banks, Legacy National Bank was the big mover in terms of customer funds. The Springdale-based lender surged in the six-county deposit ranking from No. 12 last year to No. 8, with $370.3 million in its five offices in Northwest Arkansas. That’s up from $310.3 million in mid-2016.

The bulk of the growth is in Benton County, where deposits in the bank’s Rogers branch grew more than 37% year-to-year. Legacy National is preparing to break ground on a second Benton County location, on Walton Boulevard in Bentonville.

In Madison County, Cornerstone Bank’s growth strategy is reflected in the SOD snapshot. The Eureka Springs-based lender opened a branch in Huntsville in 2015, the first office outside Carroll County in the bank’s 106-year history. Deposits grew from $8.9 million in mid-2016 to $13.2 million in mid-2016, an increase of more than 47%.

Missouri-based Great Southern Bank, Mountain Home-based Integrity First Bank N.A. and Oklahoma-based Armstrong Bank all saw triple-digit increases in their lone bank offices in Washington County. Generations Bank, chartered in the south Arkansas community of Hampton, grew deposits in its Washington County branch nearly 210%, from $7.09 million in mid-2016 to $21.8 million in mid-2017.

Using the FDIC data, Talk Business & Politics-Northwest Arkansas Business Journal identified the 20 branches in the six-county area that held the most customer deposits.

As of the June 30 snapshot, they held a combined $5.65 billion (see accompanying chart). That’s a 16% increase from June 30, 2016. By a wide margin, the wealthiest bank branch in Northwest Arkansas is the Arvest Bank branch on Bentonville’s downtown square. It held a total of $1.34 billion, nearly double the amount from mid-2016.

Of the top 20 banks, 11 of them are Arvest Bank branches.

Overall, there are 13 bank branches in the six-county area with at least $200 million in insured deposits — three each in Fayetteville and Fort Smith, two each in Bentonville, Rogers and Springdale and one in Siloam Springs.

Link here for a PDF of the six-county market share breakdown.