Bank of America has announced its plans to open its first full-service retail bank branch in Colorado. The bank is expected to open by the end of 2014, with more to come throughout the next year. The first branch will be opening in Cherry Creek North in Denver, and more branches will be added to other cities later on. The bank has not revealed exactly how many locations it hopes to be opening in the state.
Already, the bank has a sizable following in Colorado thanks to its commercial and business clients — approximately 600,000 of them in the Colorado area. As Bank of America’s business presence in Denver and beyond has grown, they have seen the potential value in building off it and opening themselves up to retail services.
Why Colorado? Over the past 10 years, several banking consolidations and failures owing to housing industry fluctuations has meant that fewer banking companies now hold branches within the state. This provides an opening for well-established national banks like Bank of America to come back in, now that the mortgage industry has had time to settle down.
“They look at Colorado as being attractive because the number of competitors we have has declined over the past six or seven years,” explained banking consultant Larry Martin in an interview with the Denver Post.
Bank of America has hit some tough roadblocks nationally over the past year. It is currently negotiating a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department, which wants the bank to pay a major penalty for the sale of its risky mortgage-backed securities, which helped contributed to the 2007 financial crisis. Another, similar program cost the bank a $1.3 billion penalty last month.
Will Bank of America make any changes in order to succeed in Colorado? Like many U.S. banks, it will likely use cloud technology for market data management. There is also a large untapped group of business owners in Colorado — those involved with legal weed. The banking industry as a whole, though, is reluctant to work with these companies, and is waiting for the federal green light on marijuana sales.