Financial Services

Spotlight: Ranking the Banks

States Big 5 remain the same in market share report.

By John Levesque November 1, 2016


This article originally appeared in the November 2016 issue of Seattle Magazine.

State’s ‘Big 5’ remain the same in market share report.

Wells Fargo & Co. remains the second-largest bank in Washington state by deposits, per the FDIC’s annual Deposit Market Share Report. Will that change next year, given the news of Wells Fargo’s recent, um, less-than-savory customer relations in recent month? Or will depositors have forgotten and forgiven by then?
Hard to say. Unless a bank goes out of business or gets swallowed up by another, not much changes year to year in the market-share report, which reflects where bank deposits stood on June 30 each year. But rarely does a bank get fined $185 million for defrauding its customers (see page 64). So stay tuned.
In Washington state, Bank of America is perpetually No. 1 — by a large margin — and Wells Fargo No. 2. Rounding out the “Big 5” are JPMorgan Chase, U.S. Bank and KeyBank. Together, this quintet controls nearly 62 percent of the market share in Washington state.
In that group, the biggest mover this year was JPMorgan Chase, which vaulted past U.S. Bank into third place statewide with a healthy increase of $1.7 billion in deposits. This doesn’t mean it was necessarily a bad year for U.S. Bank, which itself posted an increase of $1.1 billion in deposits. It’s just that, relatively speaking, some banks have better years than others. In fact, only one bank in the top 10 — Umpqua Bank — reported a decline (from $5 billion to $4.9 billion) in statewide deposits.
After the Big 5, the next five-largest banks by deposits are Washington Federal, Umpqua Bank, Columbia Bank, Banner Bank and Washington Trust Bank, which have a combined state market share of 15.6 percent.
Banner Bank moved into the top 10 statewide after acquiring AmericanWest Bank. Banner had been 12th in the statewide ranking in 2015; this year, it’s ninth, with $1.3 billion more in deposits.
The top five banks in the state are also the top five in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area, controlling 71 percent of the market. In the next tier, Columbia Bank moved from eighth to seventh and HomeStreet Bank from 10th to ninth.
In Washington, no single bank may accumulate more than a 30 percent share of the state market. That figure used to be fairly standard across the country, but Congress gave states the authority to raise or lower their caps, and many in the past decade have chosen to eliminate them altogether. In the West, for instance, Oregon, Idaho, California, Utah, Nevada and Hawaii have no market-share caps.

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