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eandslee

Richmond Banks

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Thought I'd start a new thread with this title since I don't think we have a topic to discuss this yet.

 

Let me just say that I'm very discouraged by this:

 

http://www.richmondbizsense.com/2014/01/07/n-c-bank-plants-its-flag-in-richmond/

 

Um, isn't this how the Charlotte, NC banks swallowed up all the Virginia banks in the 1990s?!  If that is their goal, then we don't want them here!  It all starts somewhere...even this small...we all know what NC banks have in mind when they come to Richmond!

 

On the other hand, I'm very encouraged by this:

 

http://www.timesdispatch.com/business/local/union-first-market-buys-stake-in-local-payments-firm/article_88a0abdc-384c-5c73-ac41-76ce0c14f0e1.html'>http://www.timesdispatch.com/business/local/union-first-market-buys-stake-in-local-payments-firm/article_88a0abdc-384c-5c73-ac41-76ce0c14f0e1.html

 

Look out America!  This Richmond-based bank is on the rise!  They are already thinking to expand out of state which could lead to more mergers, hence more growth!  All of that, if they plan to stay in downtown Richmond, could translate into a tall iconic building for downtown Richmond in the future!  Just thinking ahead folks, just thinking ahead!

 

Do you see this happening in Richmond's future with this bank?  To me, it very well could happen!

 

 

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I wouldn't necessarily bank on Union becoming the next BoA or SunTrust (good, because I don't want it to).

 

However, if they do hit it big, I would definitely support a new tower. But then again, who wouldn't.

 

Other than Union, what are the other major banks? I think Village Bank maybe? (Un-fun fact: they had to sell off their Midlothian HQ building).

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Saw this really great article in Virginia Business today about Virginia Community Banks and their growth...how they got to where they are. As you may know, Richmond-based Union Bank is Virginia’s largest community bank with assets over $12 Billion after its merger with Xenith Bank is complete in January. This is huge because $10 Billion is the threshold to bigger bank regulations from DC. Union is the first Virginia bank of this size since the days of Central Fidelity, Sovran, etc. (mid 1990s).  Will Union get big enough to need a larger downtown presence?  It’s my opinion that if it continues to grow like it is, it most definitely will...but a little time will tell. Just hope they don’t get bought out by some stupid NC bank!!  Here’s the article...it’s worth the read:

http://www.virginiabusiness.com/all-headlines/article/marking-an-anniversary

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Quick question:  Why is it that other major banks don't install/build a regional headquarters in Richmond similar to what Suntrust, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo did in Richmond?  Where is the major presence of other major banks, such as FNC, PNC, Nations Bank amoung others.  I just read where FNC is building a new 33 story tower in Charlotte (it will be a mixed use tower that will contain condos/apartments and then 160K sq/ft will be offices for the bank) and it is also building a 22-story tower in Raleigh.  I always thought that Richmond, despite being stripped of its major banking notoreity, still had a strong banking presence?  Now, I don't want any bank to come in and kill Union Bankshares (Richmond's homegrown bank that is growing), but was just wondering.  Got an answer?  Time for a new Richmond bank tower! :)  Also time for Union to start gobbling up some more banks and grow some more!

Edited by eandslee

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Isn't there some sort of oddball VA law that was basically the reason why banks fled for NC as they grew to become national banks?

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2 hours ago, meegwell said:

Isn't there some sort of oddball VA law that was basically the reason why banks fled for NC as they grew to become national banks?

Good question! Actually (kinda) the other way around. North Carolina, and Charlotte in particular, became a banking center in the early 20th century thanks to North Carolina state laws. North Carolina was at one time the only state in the country that legalized branch banking. Way back in the day, all banks were required to store all assets at one location--except in North Carolina. That meant money (and lending, etc.) could be based out of the cities (Winston Salem and Charlotte) but with branches out in the country to provide capital to farmers. That gave North Carolina a big leg up over the rest of the South in terms of letting banks grow, succeed, and expand.

As the 20th Century went on, some highly ambitious Charlotte businesspeople made sure Charlotte (rather than Winston-Salem or Raleigh) became the banking center for the state. As consolidation of banks occurred in the 80s, 90s, and 00s, Charlotte just had the goods to stay or become the headquarters--certainly way more so than cities like Richmond.  New York obviously competes as a banking center, but in the South, no place comes anywhere close to Charlotte.  Now, when Wells Fargo and BoA want to add more jobs, they just pick up another block of Uptown Charlotte (that they already own/lease most of), rather than worry about spreading labor out up and down the East Coast.  Last year I worked in a 30-story tower in Charlotte and 15 of those stories were the BoA IT department--and at that it probably barely cracked the top 5 in terms of Uptown buildings with most BoA employees.

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18 hours ago, Toni said:

Good question! Actually (kinda) the other way around. North Carolina, and Charlotte in particular, became a banking center in the early 20th century thanks to North Carolina state laws. North Carolina was at one time the only state in the country that legalized branch banking. Way back in the day, all banks were required to store all assets at one location--except in North Carolina. That meant money (and lending, etc.) could be based out of the cities (Winston Salem and Charlotte) but with branches out in the country to provide capital to farmers. That gave North Carolina a big leg up over the rest of the South in terms of letting banks grow, succeed, and expand.

As the 20th Century went on, some highly ambitious Charlotte businesspeople made sure Charlotte (rather than Winston-Salem or Raleigh) became the banking center for the state. As consolidation of banks occurred in the 80s, 90s, and 00s, Charlotte just had the goods to stay or become the headquarters--certainly way more so than cities like Richmond.  New York obviously competes as a banking center, but in the South, no place comes anywhere close to Charlotte.  Now, when Wells Fargo and BoA want to add more jobs, they just pick up another block of Uptown Charlotte (that they already own/lease most of), rather than worry about spreading labor out up and down the East Coast.  Last year I worked in a 30-story tower in Charlotte and 15 of those stories were the BoA IT department--and at that it probably barely cracked the top 5 in terms of Uptown buildings with most BoA employees.

This is an excellent explanation!  It's just incredible to me how many people are working in downtown Charlotte for the various banks.  Man, if Richmond could home-grow or land just a couple of those type of banks, it would be awesome!  If I remember correctly, Richmond (back in the early 1900s...around 1910-1913 or so) was considered a banking mecca for the south, which is how the Federal Reserve Bank landed in Richmond to begin with.  Charlotte obviously snatched that away from Richmond, but what do you think are the possibilities of Richmond re-emerging as a banking center again?  Probably won't be able to out-do Charlotte or Atlanta, but perhpas have a significant banking presence again.  It sort of already does, but there are just regional offices here (no HQs...except for some small banks).  That's why I have a lot of hope for Virginia's leading bank, Union Bankshares.  I'm really hoping they take off and set the stage for a re-emergence of banking in Richmond, but they have to play their cards right and be careful or I fear they will get gobbled up.  Though Union is a bank of about $12 billion worth of assets (which sounds like a lot), next to some of the big banks, it is merely nothing compared to those who have amassed assets in the + trillion-dollar range!  Crazy money!  Little by little, I hope Union makes it big...I'm just too impatient to wait and watch it happen slowly. :lol:

Edited by eandslee

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Interesting that I should mention Richmond banks this week...

A sizable Columbia, South Carolina Bank plants its flag in Richmond this week (South State Bank).  I don't know much about this bank, but it is about the size of Richmond's Union Bankshares Bank (maybe slightly larger).  I wonder how Union will react?  Not sure how feasible it is, but it would be cool if Union could gobble up another bank that is about its size to double its footprint and assets.  Not saying that they should target South State Bank...South State's move into Richmond just got me thinking about the possibilities.  I just expect Union to make a major move at some point this year...I'm just hoping its a good one.  With South State Bank moving in, it's got to put more pressure on Union to do something as more of its market share may be taken up by South State.  The playing field is getting interesting.

https://richmondbizsense.com/2018/04/25/15b-south-carolina-based-bank-arrives-richmond/

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3 hours ago, eandslee said:

Interesting that I should mention Richmond banks this week...

A sizable Columbia, South Carolina Bank plants its flag in Richmond this week (South State Bank).  I don't know much about this bank, but it is about the size of Richmond's Union Bankshares Bank (maybe slightly larger).  I wonder how Union will react?  Not sure how feasible it is, but it would be cool if Union could gobble up another bank that is about its size to double its footprint and assets.  Not saying that they should target South State Bank...South State's move into Richmond just got me thinking about the possibilities.  I just expect Union to make a major move at some point this year...I'm just hoping its a good one.  With South State Bank moving in, it's got to put more pressure on Union to do something as more of its market share may be taken up by South State.  The playing field is getting interesting.

https://richmondbizsense.com/2018/04/25/15b-south-carolina-based-bank-arrives-richmond/

I know South State has a big footprint in Charleston SC as it purchased First Federal and Savings a few years ago which was an old time Charleston-based bank where I opened my first banking account.  

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I'm not sure what to make of this story about Union getting out of the residential mortgage business.  This sounds so odd to me...honestly, it doesn't sound good.  Why on Earth would a bank not have a residential mortgage business?  I know that it is a small percentage of their profits, but isn't that a sign of a  problem?  I don't like this one bit.  The way I look at it, all major banks do residential mortgages.  Why is Union backing off from doing these if there isn't an issue.  Could this be the start of Union's demise?  Could this be a sign that it is looking to be bought off?  Not sure of the answers, but it makes me wonder.  Do you have any thoughts on this?

https://richmondbizsense.com/2018/05/24/union-winding-residential-mortgage-unit/

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45 minutes ago, eandslee said:

I'm not sure what to make of this story about Union getting out of the residential mortgage business.  This sounds so odd to me...honestly, it doesn't sound good.  Why on Earth would a bank not have a residential mortgage business?  I know that it is a small percentage of their profits, but isn't that a sign of a  problem?  I don't like this one bit.  The way I look at it, all major banks do residential mortgages.  Why is Union backing off from doing these if there isn't an issue.  Could this be the start of Union's demise?  Could this be a sign that it is looking to be bought off?  Not sure of the answers, but it makes me wonder.  Do you have any thoughts on this?

https://richmondbizsense.com/2018/05/24/union-winding-residential-mortgage-unit/

This won't be their demise... having come from the financial sector myself, sometimes banks take a look at how they're doing with their products and make decisions based on whether they're making enough money on it.  It could be that since it was such a small percentage of their business, it wasn't worth the time or the money to keep it going.  Union has done really well and I think they're just looking to focus on what's going right for them and stay on that path.

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18 minutes ago, RVAbigdawg said:

This won't be their demise... having come from the financial sector myself, sometimes banks take a look at how they're doing with their products and make decisions based on whether they're making enough money on it.  It could be that since it was such a small percentage of their business, it wasn't worth the time or the money to keep it going.  Union has done really well and I think they're just looking to focus on what's going right for them and stay on that path.

Thanks for your insight.  I have no financial background experience (especially running a bank), but I hope you're right.  Maybe they will be able to start a residential mortgage business later on if conditions change.  It just seems that they are big enough (and good enough) to make more money at residential mortgages than they are (that just really surprised me).

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