Bank Watch

What’s behind Regions Bank’s 61% growth in Charlotte deposits?

Birmingham, Ala.-based Regions Bank changed its methodology for how it records corporate deposits to better reflect where those clients are located, a move that contributed to its recent 61 percent year-over-year boost in Charlotte-area deposits.
Birmingham, Ala.-based Regions Bank changed its methodology for how it records corporate deposits to better reflect where those clients are located, a move that contributed to its recent 61 percent year-over-year boost in Charlotte-area deposits.

Regions Bank says a shift of corporate deposits into Charlotte primarily helped drive the roughly 61 percent year-over-year increase in deposits the lender recorded in the metropolitan area.

Last week, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. released its latest annual rankings of the nation’s banks based on their U.S. deposits. Those figures are based on data as of June 30, which is when the FDIC takes its snapshot each year.

On a percentage basis, the gain Birmingham, Ala.-based Regions posted in Charlotte was the biggest among the area’s 20 largest lenders. By comparison, the second-largest increase, recorded by Paragon Bank, was about 34 percent.

Regions spokesman Jeremy King explained to me that a portion of its Charlotte gains stemmed from a rise in the deposits of individual consumers. But the lender also changed how it records corporate deposits to better reflect where those clients are located – a move that impacted total deposits in Charlotte and some other markets.

“While we did see solid growth in our deposit balances in Charlotte, we also had some changes in allocation methodology for corporate deposits that were reflected in the Charlotte balances,” King said in a statement.

Regions rose to 14th place for Charlotte-area market share, based on deposits, from 16th last year.

Its market share remains less than 1 percent, far below the roughly 74 percent held by Bank of America, which is ranked first in the Charlotte area. Still, Regions’ recent deposit growth has caught the attention of industry observers.

“That's a big jump,” UNC Charlotte finance professor Tony Plath told me.

Plath cited an improving Charlotte economy, as well as Regions’ efforts to boost its business in the area, as other factors in the lender’s deposit growth.

While Regions’ branch count in the Charlotte region has held steady at three for the past four years, it has expanded other operations here. The lender has chosen Charlotte as a growth spot for its investment banking and capital markets businesses, plucking employees from Bank of America and Wells Fargo.

“For a number of years, (Regions) sort of neglected its market development in the Charlotte region while it tended to more pressing matters,” such as surviving the recession, Plath said.

“Now that they’ve put that job behind them, they’ve been spending more time building their franchise position in Charlotte this past year.”

Deon Roberts: 704-358-5248, @DeonERoberts

  Comments