One year later, Central Bank and Trust is on a roll

For a while, it seemed as though regulatory red tape would prevent Central Bancorp from opening a local bank branch. Central already had wealth management, mortgage, title and insurance operations at its downtown office, but had long wanted to add full-service banking to its array of services.

Although the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. wouldn’t authorize a de novo banking charter during the recession, the company finally did receive approval to acquire Farmers & Stockmens Bank in Clayton, N.M., while also obtaining a Colorado banking charter.

Shortly after, the company opened Central Bank & Trust at 1 S. Nevada Ave..

That was last December.

Today, a time when bank failures have reached historic highs and many banks are shedding assets, CB&T has increased lending and deposits. The latest FDIC reports show that Farmers & Stockmens assets increased from $55.6 million to $73.2 million year-over-year, and lending increased nearly $8 million.

By way of comparison, in Colorado, the average change in loans and leases from June 2009 to this June was negative 8.4 percent.

Although bank executives wanted to open sooner than they were able to, it turned out that 2010 was a good year to start a bank. While some of its competitors were busy trying to clean up their balance sheets, Central was out gathering deposits, making loans and building a client base.

USAA joins forces

USAA has teamed up with Pentagon Federal Credit Union.

The alliance will allow USAA — which offers banking, investment and insurance services to current and former military service members — to offer a broader range of products and services to members of both organizations. Highlights of the alliance include:

Pentagon Federal will be the preferred provider of auto and home insurance, annuities, life insurance and investment products from USAA.

In 2011, USAA will be able to offer its members new, lower-rate jumbo mortgage options.

Members of both organizations will be able to speak to USAA staff at some PenFed branches, either in person or through video telephones, for their non-banking needs.

USAA has also formed an alliance with The American Legion, which has 2.6 million members, giving legionnaires access to USAA’s insurance and financial services.

Legionnaires who join USAA can extend the benefits to their qualified family members, many of whom are members of the Sons of The American Legion and American Legion Auxiliary, which total nearly 1.4 million members. USAA has nearly 8 million members.

IRS refund checks for Coloradans

More than 2,100 Colorado taxpayers have refund checks worth a total of more than $2.1 million. But the checks were returned to the Internal Revenue Service as undeliverable.

Once taxpayers update their mailing addresses with the IRS, the refund checks, which average $ 1,017, can be claimed.

Nationwide, more than 111,000 taxpayers had about $164 million in refunds returned to the IRS. The average national undelivered refund is $1, 471.

There are several ways for taxpayers to update their addresses and claim their refunds.

On IRS.gov, there is a “Where’s My Refund?” tool, which allows people to check the status of their refunds and change their addresses. In some cases, the site provides instructions on how to resolve delivery problems.

Or people can call (800) 829-1954 for instructions on updating their mailing addresses.

To avoid undeliverable checks in the future, taxpayers can use direct deposit. Direct deposit is available for paper and electronic tax returns.

Q3 profits

Third-quarter banking results were much better on almost all fronts than during the past few years.

Year-over-year bank profits skyrocketed in the third quarter at the commercial banks and savings institutions that report to the FDIC.

Net profits totaled $14.5 billion, an increase of $12.5 billion compared to a year ago.

Nearly two-thirds of institutions reported higher net income than a year earlier, and fewer than one in five was unprofitable — the lowest percentage since second quarter 2008. A year ago, more than 27 percent of all institutions reported negative net income.

Rebecca Tonn can be reached at rebecca.tonn@csbj.com or 719-329-5229. Friend her on Facebook.