The Bank Slate


Columbia in Wash. to enter Utah after banker hires

Columbia Banking System in Tacoma, Wash., will enter Utah after hiring commercial bankers in Salt Lake City. 

The $21 billion-asset company said in a press release Tuesday that it hired Jeffrey Thomas and James Divver to join its business lending division. The bankers will be responsible for building a team in the market.

“Our expansion into Utah is a logical extension of our growing Western footprint and a timely opportunity to enter one of the region’s strongest markets with proven local leaders who are well-positioned to ramp up quickly and make a substantial impact,” Clint Stein, Columbia‚Äôs president and CEO, said in the release.

Thomas was named commercial banking lead. He previously served as a business banking market leader at U.S. Bancorp. 

Divver, who was named a business development officer, previously served as senior vice president of government relations at Zions Bancorp. 

Columbia is the second bank in as many weeks to announce plans to enter Salt Lake City. 

Western Alliance Bancorp. in Phoenix said in late June that it had entered Utah after hiring business bankers from Zions and Bank of America with expertise in real estate, construction and equipment loans, SBA financing, lines of credit and working capital. 

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