Colorado Springs is about to get a new bank, led by a few familiar faces.
Tim Stack, formerly of Wells Fargo in Colorado Springs, and Steve Ingham, most recently with Kirkpatrick Bank, are leading the effort to break Denver-based Colorado Business Bank into the Springs market.
Stack is the bank’s local president, and Ingham will serve as senior lender.
Colorado Business Bank, the commercial lending arm of CoBiz Financial, expects to open a branch at 118 E. Pikes Peak Ave. sometime in January, but Stack and Ingham will have temporary space sooner in the location, a now-vacant annex adjoined to the west side of the Colorado Square Building, which houses Kinder Morgan’s 400 employees as well as Documart on the first floor.
Colorado Business Bank has about $2.7 billion in assets, which makes it the state’s No. 2 bank behind Denver’s FirstBank, with its roughly $13 billion in assets.
The bank is opening a Fort Collins branch in tandem with the Springs office. Doug Woods, the former group president for First Community Bank in Colorado Springs, will lead the Fort Collins branch.
Colorado Business Bank boasts that is has a singular focus, meeting the needs of small- to medium-sized businesses, in keeping with its namesake.
This is the first new bank to enter the Springs market since 2009 when Central Bancorp opened its doors.
But does Colorado Springs, which is familiar with the term “over-banked” because of its 38 banks, really have room for another one?
Stack thinks so.
“We believe we can compete with other relationship banks,” he said. “We’ve been looking at this market for a long time, and we’re very excited about this.”
Stack said the bank’s study of the Springs market determined that it is not over-saturated and that there is a wealth of medium-sized businesses needing the products that CBB offers: property and casualty insurance, employee benefits, wealth management, investments.
“We want to support businesses,” Stack said. “And we’re not coming in to this market as unknowns.”
Stack joined CoBiz Wealth in 2012, and prior to that, he served as executive vice president for wealth management at American National Bank. He gained his commercial lending experience during the nine years he spent at Wells Fargo in Colorado Springs.
He also has extensive community ties in Colorado Springs. He previously served as board president for the Colorado Springs Philharmonic and the Boy Scouts of America Pikes Peak Council.
Ingham also has deep roots in Colorado Springs, having worked at three other banks in the area.
He was an executive at State Bank & Trust in the late 1990s and then went on to become president of Academy Bank, where he was credited with leading the bank to become the largest local institution in El Paso County, doubling the bank’s growth annually during his six-year tenure and growing assets to about $507 million.
But around the time that Academy Bank began facing heat from federal regulators over “unsafe lending practices” in 2010, Ingham set sail for Kirkpatrick Bank, where he was named president of Colorado operations. His stint at Kirkpatrick lasted about 21/2 years. He quietly left the job about a year ago and did independent consulting.
But, Ingham, who also is vice chair of the Peak Vista Community Health Center Foundation, said he’s eager to get back to work in the Springs banking market.
“I’m just blessed to be a part of this,” he said. “What we’re doing here is exciting and we think we can do some good work down here.”
Don Childears, president of the Colorado Bankers Association, said he believes the success of a new bank hinges on the number of relationships that can be quickly established.
“So, I think Colorado Business Bank is taking the right route with these guys,” he said. “I can tell you that the bank is very solid. They’ve been very successful in the Denver market just by focusing on business needs, and they’re well respected by other bankers.”
Childears also said he often hears that the Colorado market, and not just Colorado Springs, is over-banked.
“Sure, we have a high number of banks here, but Colorado has always been a very attractive market for banks,” he said. “At one point about eight or nine years ago, Colorado had the highest concentration of banks in the country, and that might still be true, but I haven’t seen the numbers in a while.”
CoBiz Financial began in 1994 as Colorado Business Bankshares with the purchase of Equitable Bankshares of Littleton and The Women’s Bank.
The company’s name was changed to Colorado Business Bank in 1999 and the holding company was dubbed CoBiz in 2003.
CoBiz operates six banks in Arizona and 12 in Colorado, five in Denver, two in Littleton and one each in Boulder, Louisville, Eagle, Edwards and Golden.