Spokane Journal of Business

United Security parent to merge four banks

Holding company, merged bank would be based here, renamed AmericanWest

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United Security Bancorp., of Spokane, is seeking approval from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to merge United Security Bank, of Spokane, with three of its other subsidiary banks to form one Washington state-chartered commercial bank that would be named AmericanWest Bank.

If the application is approved, the bank holding company would be renamed AmericanWest Bancorp and would seek a new Nasdaq trading symbol, according to the application filed last month. The parent company is expected to remain based in Spokane, as would the new, combined bank. Both would have their headquarters at 9506 N. Newport Highway.

Shelli Coffey, an acting case manager with the FDIC, says the FDIC should decide by the end of the year whether to approve the application.

Wes Colley, United Security Bancorp.s president and CEO, declined to comment on the proposed merger.

In its application to the FDIC, United Security says the banks that would be involved in the merger include Washington-state charted United Security Bank; Home Security Bank, of Sunnyside, Wash.; and AmericanWest Bank, of Walla Walla, Wash.; as well as Bank of Pullman, an Idaho-state charted bank based in Moscow, Idaho.

The application says that the four banks would be merged to promote efficiency and eliminate unnecessary duplication by reducing four commercial banking charters to one. Such a merger also is expected to improve customer service and marketing, it says.

The four banks, had they been combined as of June 30, would have had total deposits of $444.4 million, loans of $424.8 million, and assets of $517.3 million, the application shows.

United Security Bancorp. also currently owns Grant National Bank, which is expected to remain a separate, national bank subsidiary that would be renamed AmericanWest Bank National Association.

Assuming the merger proceeds, AmericanWest Bancorp then would own a state bank subsidiary, a national bank subsidiary, and a nonbank-subsidiary called USB Insurance, the application says.

United Security says in its application that there are no plans to raise additional capital or incur debt as a result of the merger. Also, no operational changes are planned at any of the branches of the various bank subsidiaries, the application says.

  • Lisa Harrell

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