Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Local Bank of America branches sold

Seattle-based bank buys 51 branches in 4 Western states


By TONY EVANS
Express Staff Writer

    Seattle-based Washington Federal Bank is acquiring 51 Bank of America branches in four Western states, including 15 in Idaho, including one in Ketchum and one in Hailey.
    The acquisitions were announced Friday and will be finalized in late 2013, pending federal regulatory approval.
    “Washington Federal has been looking for opportunities to grow through acquisitions in states where it already has branches, including Oregon, Idaho and New Mexico,” The Seattle Times reported Friday.
    Terms of the deal were not made public, but the Seattle Times reported that Washington Federal paid a premium of 2.6 percent on deposits it will acquire from Bank of America. The branches represent approximately $1.8 billion of deposits and $11 million of loans, The Seattle Times reported.
    “When the deal closes, the assets of Washington Federal, already the largest bank headquartered in the state [Washington], will swell to about $15 billion. And the bank’s workforce will grow by more than 20 percent to nearly 1,800 employees in eight states,” The Seattle Times reported.
    About 20 people work at the two Bank of America branch offices in the Wood River Valley. All employees have been offered the option of remaining employed under Washington Federal, but specifics on any changes that could take place under the new ownership have not been released.
    “This is so new, we are still learning about it,” said Ketchum Bank of America branch assistant manager Eric Madsen. “We are told that Washington Federal has been around nearly 100 years and never made any layoffs. It is a very financially solid,” Madsen said.
    According to a fact sheet issued to bank customers in Ketchum, accounts that will transition are deposit accounts such as checking, savings, IRAs and cash deposits belonging to consumers, small businesses, and “Merrill Edge” plan customers who live in the local area and are serviced at local bank locations. Some loans are also included in the transition, as well as safe-deposit boxes and their leases.    
    Accounts remaining with BofA include credit cards, mortgages, investments and merchant services accounts, and the personal and business deposit accounts of U.S. Trust and Merrill Lynch Wealth Management clients.
    “Bank of America and Washington Federal will keep customers who are affected fully informed well before any changes occur,” the fact sheet states.
Madsen said he has read that the sale of BofA branches was part of a three-year BofA restructuring plan to focus business in metropolitan areas.
    The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that shares of BofA stock has doubled over the past year, “despite complaints about increased regulations.”
    The Seattle Times reported that Washington Federal CEO Roy Whitehead said the purchase of BofA branches is the largest acquisition in the Seattle-based banking company’s history.
    “We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to do it in one fell swoop,” Whitehead said.




About Comments

Comments with content that seeks to incite or inflame may be removed.

Comments that are in ALL CAPS may be removed.

Comments that are off-topic or that include profanity or personal attacks, libelous or other inappropriate material may be removed from the site. Entries that are unsigned or contain signatures by someone other than the actual author may be removed. We will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or any other policies governing this site. Use of this system denotes full acceptance of these conditions. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.

The comments below are from the readers of mtexpress.com and in no way represent the views of Express Publishing, Inc.

You may flag individual comments. You may also report an inappropriate or offensive comment by clicking here.

Flagging Comments: Flagging a comment tells a site administrator that a comment is inappropriate. You can find the flag option by pointing the mouse over the comment and clicking the 'Flag' link.

Flagging a comment is only counted once per person, and you won't need to do it multiple times.

Proper Flagging Guidelines: Every site has a different commenting policy - be sure to review the policy for this site before flagging comments. In general these types of comments should be flagged:

  • Spam
  • Ones violating this site's commenting policy
  • Clearly unrelated
  • Personal attacks on others
Comments should not be flagged for:
  • Disagreeing with the content
  • Being in a dispute with the commenter

Popular Comment Threads



 Local Weather 
Search archives:


Copyright © 2020 Express Publishing Inc.   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.