Columbia Bank plans to expand its wealth management office in downtown Spokane.
The bank announced last month it has hired Randy Casto as senior vice president and Spokane private banking team leader. It plans on hiring up to four more people to work in wealth management, which will give the department up to a total of seven people, says Mark Nelson, Tacoma-based executive vice president and chief operating officer at Columbia.
Positions Columbia is looking to fill include two private banking officer positions and an analyst position.
The wealth management office is located on the fourth floor of the Fernwell Building, at 505 W. Riverside downtown. Nelson says wealth management looks at those clients "who have, or will have, complicated financial needs."
He adds, "We see great opportunity within the Spokane market, and Randy is the ideal, seasoned professional to leverage this into growth for Columbia Bank."
Casto has worked in the banking industry since 1989. Immediately before joining Columbia Bank, he worked as relationship manager in private banking for Spokane-based Washington Trust Bank.
Casto says he sees Spokane as a medical hub, adding that there is an opportunity to reach clients both in the medical and growing technology industries here.
The growth of the wealth management office comes a year after Columbia Bank entered into a purchase-and-assumption agreement with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to take over eight branches of the now-defunct Bank of Whitman, formerly based in Colfax, Wash.
Over the last two years, along with the acquisition of certain Bank of Whitman assets, Columbia Bank also acquired deposits and assets of Burlington, Wash.-based Summit Banking Co., Snohomish, Wash.-based First Heritage Bank, and Bainbridge Island, Wash.-based American Marine Bank.
Columbia Bank currently has 102 banking offices, with 77 located in Washington and 25 additional branches in Oregon.
Late last month, Columbia Bank reported second-quarter net income of $11.9 million, or 30 cents a diluted share, up 38 percent from $8.6 million, or 22 cents a share, in the year-earlier quarter.
As of June 30, it had $4.78 billion in total assets, roughly the same as at the end of 2011. Its total deposits as of June 30 were $3.83 billion, up from $3.82 billion six months earlier.
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