Shopping local is a well-known philosophy in Whatcom County, but it's also a trend when it comes to where residents are putting their money.
Lynden-based Peoples Bank continued to grow its market share of Whatcom County deposits, according to the latest data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
As of June 30, Peoples Bank had $658.6 million in Whatcom County deposits, a 2.2 percent increase compared to a year earlier. That growth allowed the bank to increase its market share to 21.98 percent, the highest among the 15 banks with branches in the county.
Combined, the banks mustered less than 1 percent annual growth in deposits in the county. Much of the significant growth the past year took place in local credit unions.
Among the five Whatcom County credit unions, Industrial Credit Union had the highest year-over-year growth through June 30, increasing its assets by 19.6 percent to $164.8 million, according to data from the National Credit Union Administration. The NCUA uses assets when measuring a credit union, rather than deposits.
Following ICU in year-over-year growth was Whatcom Educational Credit Union (up 14.9 percent to $838.8 million in assets), North Coast Credit Union (up 10.8 percent to $163.5 million) Pacific Northwest Credit Union (up 8.2 percent to $19.9 million) and GaPac Community Federal Credit Union (up 6.4 percent to $52.9 million).
ICU is continuing to grow after the recent completion of its acquisition of the Ferndale Refinery Credit Union, adding about 2,000 new members, said Terri Salstrom, president and CEO of ICU.
Some of the credit union growth could be from last year's Bank Transfer Day, a movement that encouraged people to switch from national banks to community banks or to credit unions.
Salstrom said a bigger factor is the growing number of Whatcom County residents who want to keep their money at locally based financial institutions, rather than being a protest against national banks.
"More people are learning that a credit union is a good option for them," said Salstrom, noting that many credit unions allow any local resident to become a member.
Overall, banks with Whatcom County branches had nearly $3 billion in local deposits as of June 30. While six of the 15 banks experienced a decline in local deposits the past year, several experienced significant gains, including Columbia State Bank (up 242.1 percent), U.S. Bank (up 20 percent), Union Bank (up 13.6 percent) and Wells Fargo (up 11.4 percent).
The amount of Whatcom County total deposits in each bank, percent change in the past year and local market share. The latest deposit numbers are as of June 30, 2012:
|Peoples Bank||$658.6 million||up 2.2%||21.98%|
|Washington Federal||$373.3 million||down 6%||12.46%|
|Bank of America||$356.6 million||down 3.4%||11.9%|
|U.S. Bank||$279.3 million||up 20%||9.32%|
|Banner Bank||$227.4 million||down 6.1%||7.59%|
|Wells Fargo Bank||$197.7 million||up 11.4%||6.6%|
|KeyBank||$195.2 million||down 6%||6.52%|
|JP Morgan Chase||$194.8 million||up 8.5%||6.5%|
|Whidbey Island Bank||$165.4 million||down 5.6%||5.52%|
|Bank of the Pacific||$124.4 million||up 5%||4.15%|
|Sterling Savings Bank||$84.8 million||down 11.9%||2.83%|
|Skagit State Bank||$64.2 million||up less than 1%||2.14%|
|Union Bank||$49.4 million||up 13.6%||1.65%|
|Business Bank||$18.8 million||up 3.3%||0.63%|
|Columbia State Bank||$6.5 million||up 242.1%||0.22%|
Reach DAVE GALLAGHER at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 715-2269. Visit his business blog online at blogs.bellinghamherald.com/business or get updates on Twitter at twitter.com/BhamHeraldBiz.