Unlike others, Snohomish County banks survive Great Recession | Taking Stock

By Tim Raetzloff | Mar 22, 2017

The city of Seattle has decided to fire its banker, Wells Fargo.

This was totally a politically motivated decision and shouldn't reflect on the bank. But, political or not, this decision opens the door for another bank to take over the account.

Ashley Stewart of the Puget Sound Business Journal did an analysis of what local banks were big enough to bid for the account if they wished to, and if Seattle wants to bank locally instead of contracting with another big, national bank.

Ashley did her list alphabetically, so the first two banks were from Snohomish County. 1st Security Bank of Mountlake Terrace and Coastal Community Bank of Everett both made the cut, along with six other Puget Sound-based banks.

The news in this is that this is an indication of the beginning of a recovery for Snohomish County banking.

The Great Recession hit banking hard in Washington. The state flagship bank, Washington Mutual, the only bank of national caliber, disappeared during the downturn. And Snohomish County was particularly hard hit; the three biggest county banks – Frontier, Cascade and Citybank – all ceased to exist and were absorbed by banks from somewhere else.

1st Security and Coastal Community may not be interested in bidding for the Seattle account. Seattle is considered to be a customer of potential problems, but it may be worth it for some local bank to pursue. The best part of this story is that these two banks, which survived the Great Recession, are now big enough to get the attention of a Seattle business writer in this context.

I know that most people think that it doesn't matter what bank is available, or where that bank has its headquarters. I believe that it is important for any region to have a strong local banking community.

The profits go back to the headquarters, and banks, like everyone, give the greatest community support closest to home. That is true in New York, North Carolina, South Dakota, California, Washington, or anywhere else.

The good news is that banking is not dead in Snohomish County. The king may be dead, but another king will earn the title.

Banking isn't dead in Snohomish County; a number of local banks survived. 1st Security and Coastal Community are the biggest for now, but that can always change.

 

Tim Raetzloff operates Abarim Business Computers at Harbor Square in Edmonds. What he writes combines his sense of history and his sense of numbers. Neither he nor Abarim have an investment in any of the companies mentioned in this column.

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