Deposits up 7% at Wichita banks

Total bank deposits grew by nearly 7 percent in the Wichita area to more than $10.3 billion, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.' s 2009 Deposit Market Share Report.

And eight of the 10 banks with the largest market share increased their deposits, too.

The report, released every October and based on banks' deposits as of June 30, looks at all 57 banks doing business in Butler, Harvey, Sedgwick and Sumner counties.

It is the most objective way to annually measure how well banks are competing with one another.

The Wichita area's increase in total deposits was bigger than in 2008, when total deposits increased 4 percent from 2007.

The report shows little year-over-year change between the rankings of the top 10 area banks except for one, Wells Fargo, which is doing business in Wichita as Wachovia.

Wachovia's year-over-year fall in deposits — a 1 percent decline — was enough to drop it from sixth to seventh.

Wachovia spokesman Joe Stroop said the bank saw a deposit decline in the past year because of the maturing of high-rate certificates of deposit.

"This resulted in some lost deposits, though we were able to keep a lot of customers due to deeper relationships we have with them," Stroop said.

Among the top 10 banks in area market share, Wachovia has the fewest branches, with two.

The other top-10 bank to see a decrease in deposits was Commerce Bank. The report said the Kansas City, Mo.-based bank saw its overall percentage of deposit dollars fall from 6.73 percent to 6.18 percent.

John Clevenger, Commerce's chairman and CEO in Wichita, said this year's report doesn't account for the merging of the bank's charter with its Missouri one last October.

When that happened, Commerce Wichita no longer had as much public funds as part of its deposits.

Clevenger said that before the charters were merged, several of Commerce's branches in cities and counties like Manhattan and Wyandotte were required to hold public funds — deposits from municipalities — in a Kansas-chartered bank. And that charter was held by Commerce in Wichita.

"There was quite a nice sum of public funds that had to be held in," Clevenger said.

Once the Kansas charter went away, so did the deposits from Commerce Wichita, he said.

"Over '06, '07 and into '08, the Wichita market looked bigger than it was," Clevenger said. "Now we've kind of come back."

For those banks whose deposits grew year over year, the reason was largely federal government intervention.

Lyndon Wells, Intrust Bank executive vice president, said the move by the FDIC to temporarily increase deposit insurance coverage to $250,000 had a notable effect on the industry.

"That gave depositors a little more confidence that they could safely put their deposits in the bank," said Wells, whose bank continued to have the most area market share in 2009 and saw deposits increase by more than 8 percent.

"We're pleased that we grew, according to these numbers, a little faster than the market as a whole."

Capitol Federal Savings also saw its deposits increase — and move a notch higher, from seventh in market share to sixth.

Rhonda Dennis, Capitol Federal's first vice president in charge of its retail banking operations for the southern Kansas region, agreed the boost of deposit insurance coverage limits helped.

"I think when the stock market started to fall, customers got scared," she said. "They came back to the banks" for certificates of deposit and other bank-based investment products covered by deposit insurance.

She doesn't think the addition of a Derby branch last October had much more than a small effect on Capitol Federal's more than 7 percent year-over-year deposit gain.

"We didn't take any TARP (Troubled Assets Relief Program) money," she said. "I think that we got a lot of positive publicity and a lot of positive customer comments about strength and stability with Cap Fed."