These banks hold most market share in Northwest Arkansas, Fort Smith metro

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 1,782 views 

Banks in Northwest Arkansas and the Fort Smith metro are holding more money than they did a year ago, according to the latest summary of deposits from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC).

And in slightly fewer branches.

Altogether, 37 banks operating 302 branches in the six-county area of Northwest Arkansas and the Fort Smith metro— Benton, Carroll, Crawford, Madison, Sebastian and Washington counties — held $15.5 billion in deposits as of June 30, according to the FDIC data. For a PDF of the six-county market share breakdown, click here.

That’s up 5.23% from $14.73 billion in 304 branches in mid-2018. Previous summary of deposits reports listed $13.5 billion in June 2016, $12.7 billion in June 2015 and $12.03 billion in June 2014.

The summary of deposits data is recorded by the FDIC at the close of business on June 30 each year and serves as a snapshot for financial data.

The top three banks in terms of market share were unchanged from 2018. Fayetteville-chartered Arvest Bank, owned by members of the Walton family, continues to have the most extensive deposit base with $5.88 billion in 62 offices throughout the six-county region. That accounts for 37.9% of the market share, compared with 38% a year ago.

The First National Bank of Fort Smith is No. 2 in deposits with $1.05 billion (6.81% market share) among its 17 branch locations in Northwest Arkansas. Those totals include the bank’s local division, First National Bank of NWA, which has five locations in Benton County and one in Washington County.

At No. 3 is Searcy-chartered First Security Bank. The company added two offices in the past year and now has $848.25 million in deposits (5.47% market share) among 19 branch locations. Rounding out the top five are Bank of America N.A. of Charlotte, N.C. (five offices, $603.54 million in deposits, 3.89% market share) and BancorpSouth Bank of Tupelo, Miss. (10 offices, $578.26 million in deposits, 3.73% market share).

Deposits increased in five of the six counties in the Business Journal’s coverage area. Benton County had $5.5 billion in deposits, up 6.82% from the previous year. Washington County had $5.3 billion deposits, up 3.44% from the previous year. Sebastian County held $3 billion in deposits, up 4.29% from 2018.

John Ed Chambers III, the CEO of Danville-chartered Chambers Bank, recognizes the importance of growing the company’s customer base in the state’s fastest-growing region. The county-by-county breakdown of bank deposits reflects that.

Chambers Bank, which operates 18 bank branches in Arkansas, grew deposits in its lone Benton County office by almost 256% from June 2018 to June 2019. That was the most significant increase by any bank in any of the six counties in the Business Journal coverage area. The bank held $25.36 million in Benton County last year, $90.27 million this year. The company’s deposits in the six-county area combined grew 29.3%, from $236.34 million to $305.66 million.

John Ed Chambers III

Chambers attributed the growth to a variety of reasons.

“We made a concerted effort to grow our deposits in Benton County during the past 18 months after we relocated to a larger, full-service branch on New Hope Road in Rogers,” he said in a statement. “Concurrently, we reallocated deposits to better reflect customer location and worked to expand our customer relationships. We also moved some internal deposits that are managed by our chief operating officer to her location at the New Hope branch in Rogers.

“All of these things — along with our investment of additional staff and a mortgage department — resulted in tremendous growth for us in Benton County the past year. It’s a growth that we hope to continue, as we consider adding additional locations in Benton County.”

Chambers Bank’s Rogers branch is at 4201 New Hope Road, east of Interstate 49 at the intersection of South Promenade Boulevard. It opened on June 4, 2018.

Using FDIC data, the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal located the 20 bank offices in the six-county region that hold the most customer deposits.

As of June 30, they held a combined $5.43 billion. That’s a 2.8% increase from the 20 branches that held the most deposits on June 30, 2018.

Of the top 20 banks, 11 of them are Arvest Bank locations. The wealthiest bank branch in Northwest Arkansas is the Arvest Bank branch on the downtown square in Bentonville. It held just more than $1 billion as of June 30, up 6.8% from last year.

Overall, 11 bank branches are holding at least $200 million in deposits, down from 12 one year ago.

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