Utah’s financial services industry is strong on all levels as is Utah’s economy. Economies across the nation thrive in tandem with financial services and specifically banking in those communities. As of the end of 2016, Utah ranked 31st in population in the nation but ranked an impressive 8th in the nation in banking assets, with 47 institutions totaling close to $600 billion. These include national, regional, community and industrial banks. Utah’s credit union industry includes 68 institutions totally $22.4 billion in assets and is strong and thriving along other financial services business across the state.
The state’s financial services industry has seen significant growth over the past 30 years as many national companies have discovered our strong local economy, a strong and well-respected state regulator and an educated and professional workforce. It also helps that the state’s population center is close to a variety of recreational areas for individuals and families. Many companies came to the state over the years seeking a banking charter because Utah is one of only two states that offer an industrial bank charter. Many of these companies have expanded operations in the state beyond their banking charters. Goldman Sachs is the most notable example with the Utah campus being second only in size to the New York campus. As a result of this strong banking community Utah is also making its mark in the innovative financial technology (fintech) industry. The fintech industry is a natural fit for the state due to the innovation and infrastructure built over the years in the financial services industry.
Utah is in a position to remain competitive in banking and financial services for many years to come. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) and Utah Department of Financial Institutions provide resources on charter and insurance application requirements. The Governor’s Office of Economic Development can also assist in navigating the application process. Other trade association resources include:
A History of Utah’s Banks
Utah has a long and prestigious history in banking and financial services, both local and national. Utah native Marriner Stoddard Eccles was the first chairman of the Federal Reserve, appointed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1934. During his tenure, Eccles dramatically reformed the Federal Reserve Bank, the FDIC and the Federal Housing Administration. The Federal Reserve Building in Washington, D.C. was named in his honor.
Utah’s banking influence does not end there. Utah Senator Jake Garn, who served in the U.S. Senate from 1974 to 1993, was appointed chairman of the Senate Banking Committee in 1981 and sponsored legislation to promote and strengthen the banking system both nationally and in Utah. This legislation, primarily deregulated savings and loan associations but also included a provision making industrial banks eligible for FDIC insurance. Further legislation provided for an exemption of industrial banks from the Bank Holding Company Act. This meant a business enterprise could own a bank without becoming a bank holding company and subjecting all its non-banking operations to the Federal Reserve’s oversight. These pieces of legislation helped pave the way for the growth Utah would experience in banking and the industrial bank charter.
Thanks to the strong foundations laid by Chairman Eccles and Senator Garn, Utah continues to thrive as one of the top banking states in the country. The future is bright for the financial services industry in the State of Utah.
The following is a link of Utah’s outstanding financial institutions.
Kelvin Anderson, Director
Financial Services Industry