2023-01-25 19:31:37

Some banks will go to any lengths for deposits, even opening branches

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American Banker
By John Reosti

Unity Bancorp opened a branch in Lakewood, New Jersey in December. Unity has announced plans to open two additional branches in 2023. "During a time when large banks are closing branches, and other community banks are consolidating, we are expanding our commitment to the local marketplace," President and CEO James Hughes said.

Unity Bancorp

As banks continue looking for ways to shrink their branch networks amid a historic shift to digital delivery systems, some institutions are moving in a different direction, opening new branches in a bid to attract deposits.

That's been the case at White River Bancshares in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The $983 million-asset holding company for Signature Bank of Arkansas, White River has opened three locations White River calls them market headquarters since December 2021, including a bilingual office in Rogers, Arkansas, that caters to the region's growing Hispanic population.

Though White River reported 12% year-over-year deposit growth last week, Chief Strategy Officer Scott Sandlin said the added locations were too green to contribute much to the 2022 bottom line. On the other side of the equation, expansion costs helped drive a 19% spike in noninterest expenses, which served to mute profits. Following a record-setting 2021, net income for 2022 declined 20% to $5.62 million, White River reported last week.

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