Idaho banks did well overall in 2018, but US Bank is closing seven branches

Sharon Fisher//April 8, 2019

Idaho banks did well overall in 2018, but US Bank is closing seven branches

Sharon Fisher//April 8, 2019

photo of us bank
Despite a good year for banks in Idaho overall, US Bank plans to close seven branches across the state in the coming months. Not this one, though. File photo.

Last year was generally a good one for Idaho banks, but U.S. Bank is still shutting down a number of branches in the state.

photo of trent wright
Trent Wright

“In broad terms, Idaho’s economy, families and business had a good 2018 financially, and that’s reflected in the performance of our state’s banking industry,” said Trent Wright, president and CEO of the Idaho Bankers Association, noting that all of Idaho’s banks were profitable. “Idaho’s banks were active in lending, they remained trusted protectors of deposits and borrowers were able to meet their obligations. Those factors are always a recipe for good economic and banking results.”

According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s fourth-quarter report, which also covered the year as a whole, net income of Idaho banks was $87 million, an increase of 38% over the previous year. Idaho banks had total assets of $6.61 billion. While that was up just 0.44%, it marked the highest level since 2013, Wright said. Total deposits were $5.6 billion, up 0.4%, while total loans and leases were $4.45 billion, up 0.39%.

In addition, the net interest margin was up by 4.53%, which is above the national average, Wright said. Similarly, return on assets and return on equity were also above the national average. Finally, credit quality remained very good, with about 99% of loans being paid on time, he said.

Nonetheless, U.S. Bank is closing a number of Idaho branches over the next few months.

“As we reviewed our branch network, we determined that the demand for services at these locations necessitated a change in our approach and to our presence in the community,” said Evan Lapiska, vice president of public affairs and corporate communications. “This was a difficult decision and not one taken lightly. We understand that the closure of any branch is a disruption for our customers and our employees and we are working to make the transition as smooth as possible for all involved.”

The bank said it intends to close the Capital branch on 27th Street as of June 12; two branches located in Albertsons stores in Emmett and Meridian as of June 11 and June 5, respectively; the Moscow office on Main Street as of June 18; the Skyline office on Broadway in Idaho Falls as of June 19; the Kellogg office on McKinley Ave. in Kellogg as of June 25; and the Nezperce office on Oak Street in Nezperce as of July 2.

The announcement was not entirely unexpected. The Minneapolis-based bank had said in November that it planned to lay off about 1% of its total workforce of 74,000, but would not say at that time what the effect would be in Idaho. At the time, the company had attributed the move to “changing business needs,” noting that it had also added close to 2,000 jobs companywide in the past year.

And U.S. Bank isn’t alone. Wells Fargo had said earlier in the fall that it expected to lay off between 5 and 10% of its employees within the next three years.