Wells Fargo, BB&T lose ground in Richmond deposit battle

A photo of the Wells Fargo Iron Bridge branch. (Michael Schwartz)

The big four still rules the chase for deposit dollars in Richmond, but one locally-based player is nipping at their heels.

Wells Fargo and BB&T, which have historically been part of the quartet of large national and super-regional banks that dominate the local deposit market, lost some ground over the last year.

Wells reported $6.8 billion in deposits held across its 59 local branches, a decline of $314 million during the 12-month period that ended June 30.

In a smaller decline, BB&T saw its local deposits decrease by $42 million across its 36 area branches to $3.16 billion.

Those numbers are according to the latest local market share report from the FDIC, which annually ranks deposits held at Richmond-region branches as of June 30. The list gives a glimpse of how successful banks were at attracting deposits in the market during the 12-month period.

That slippage by Wells and BB&T could leave an opening for Richmond-based Union Bank & Trust to potentially leap into the top four, a group also made up of Bank of America and SunTrust.

Union’s local deposits jumped $915 million to $2.93 billion. That was boosted in large part by its acquisition earlier this year of Xenith Bank.

Union’s headquarters in James Center downtown. (Bizsense file photo)

Union is $200 million shy of and less than 1 percentage point away from surpassing BB&T, which is fourth in market share with about 8.3 percent of local deposits. Union sat in fifth at 7.7 percent as of June 30, and that gap could be further narrowed next year when Union seals its planned acquisition of Access National Bank, a Northern Virginia institution that has nearly $60 million in local deposits.

Only Bank of America, which remains by far the largest retail banking player in the region, saw its local deposits grow more than Union – $632.5 million – over the 12-month period to $14.16 billion across its 22 area branches.

Bank of America is eclipsed on the Richmond list only by Capital One Bank, which has no major branch operations in the area but is technically headquartered here, and, on paper, keeps its $69.7 billion in deposits in the local market.

Capital One’s numbers were not taken into account for this story, as BizSense adjusted the market share percentages for only banks with a legitimate retail presence in the market. Without Capital One, there were $37.7 billion in deposits kept by banks in the region.

There was plenty of movement on this year’s list outside of the top five.

C&F Bank, which has routinely been fifth in market share behind Union, was leapfrogged over the last year by Towne and Sonabank, which had local deposits of $860.26 million and $846.25 million respectively.

Towne’s count jumped $74.6 million from last year, while Sonabank had among the biggest jumps on the list of $328.3 million.

Another nine-figure jump was at Virginia Commonwealth Bank, which finished the annual period with $463.3 million in deposits across nine branches, up $107 million from a year ago.

New to the list this year is South State Bank, which bought into the market through the acquisition of Park Sterling Bank. It held $414.5 million in local deposits, an increase of $43 million that put an end to the decline that Park Sterling had experienced from 2016-2017.

Also new to the list is Touchstone Bank, which was created through the marriage between Bank of McKenney and Citizens Community Bank.

Another noticeable number on the FDIC list is the total number of bank branches in the region. That figure dipped to 317 as of June 30, which is eight fewer than this time last year and down from 375 a decade ago.

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Michael Dodson
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Wells Fargo’s decline might have come from the irony that as they are running their “re-established” commercials in RVA this spring, I like many other customers were having to re-order and replace debit and credit cards monthly due to fraud charges that they never explained, never took serious, and gave a most half-baked fake apology from their staff. Never got a letter from the CEO or a public we’re sorry just a bunch of bull. Yes they got everyone “whole” but after the 5 checkcards in 3 months and zip code associated with the card changing (and not my doing… Read more »
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