Bank of America opened its Boulder branch in 2016. Christopher Wood/BizWest

Bank of America ramps up expansion Branches planned for Broomfield, Fort Collins, Greeley, Lafayette, Longmont

Bank of America NA (NYSE: BAC) will open at least five new branches in the Boulder Valley and Northern Colorado in the next couple of years, part of a major expansion of the banking giant into the state.

The Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank ranks as the nation’s second-largest bank in terms of assets and deposits as of March 31, 2020. Deposits totaled $1.58 trillion, compared with $1.84 trillion for JPMorgan Chase & Co. Assets totaled $2.6 trillion for Bank of America, compared with $3.14 trillion for JPMorgan Chase.

Bank of America’s Longmont branch is under construction at The Village at the Peaks shopping center. Christopher Wood/BizWest

Bank of America entered the Colorado market in 2015 with its first Denver branch and now operates 25 Colorado banking centers, concentrated in the Denver area. That number includes 11 branch locations, with the rest known as “advanced centers,” essentially peopleless financial centers from which customers are welcomed by a digital greeter who can walk them through various transactions.

Bank of America’s Colorado expansion has been concentrated in the Denver area, but the bank also has expanded outward from Denver, looking south to Colorado Springs and north as far as Fort Collins. It opened a Boulder location at 1965 28th St. in 2016, and plans to open branches in Broomfield, Fort Collins, Greeley, Lafayette and Longmont.

All told, Bank of America has identified at least 14 markets for additional branches in Colorado.

“We continue to be excited about expanding into markets where we’ve not had a retail presence before,” said Felicia Lewis, regional executive for consumer banking & Merrill Edge for expansion markets. Lewis handles Bank of America’s expansion efforts into Colorado, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, Ohio and Utah, as well as Pittsburgh.

“Colorado is an extremely important market for us,” Lewis said. “We continue to have commitment not only to Denver, where our core branch presence is, but we continue to expand beyond Denver. It remains a top-priority market for us.”

Lewis said Bank of America identifies expansion markets based on where it already has a strong client base. Colorado fits that criterion, she said.

“In every market we go to, the reason we’re going is that we believe we have a strong client presence there.” she said. “We believe that clients want us to be there … Clients are asking, ‘When are you coming? When can we get more locations?’ So we’ve got a pretty strong client demand.”

Bank of America’s Longmont branch will be at The Village at the Peaks shopping center at 1246 S. Hover St. Lewis declined to provide an opening date for that facility — currently under construction — because of uncertainty around COVID-19 and other factors. She said, however, that the branch is slated to open in 2020.

Bank of America formally applied April 29 to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to add The Village at the Peaks location.

This rendering shows a proposed Bank of America branch in Lafayette. Courtesy city of Lafayette.

“Ideally, we’ll have that site open later this year,” she said.

Additionally, Bank of America has filed documents with the city of Broomfield for a location at West 120th Avenue and South Bradburn Boulevard, and for a Fort Collins location at 1305 W. Elizabeth St. Lewis said the Broomfield branch should open in 2021, with Fort Collins following in 2022.

Documents have also been submitted to the city of Lafayette for a branch at 861 N. Colorado Highway 287 in the Lafayette Promenade shopping center.

That branch will encompass 3,784 square feet, with two drive-through lanes, according to an initial planning submittal. Dates for the project to be reviewed by the Lafayette Planning Commission and the Lafayette City Council have not yet been determined.

“Greeley is also another area that we’re extremely interested in, but that’s further out,” she said, adding that it might come in 2022.

Loveland is not yet on the schedule for a branch. Lewis said the bank revisits its target zones, “the communities that we’re trying to make sure we penetrate,” every six months or so.

“The fact that it’s [Loveland’s] not here right now doesn’t mean that it won’t be … further out,” she said.

Bank of America examines a series of economic data when deciding whether to open a branch, including population and household-income growth, as well as economic growth overall. Another key criterion, she said, is transaction volume at existing locations. If a location exceeds the average transaction volume for the bank’s branches, Bank of America might consider an additional branch.

Bank of America in 2018 announced plans to open 500 locations nationwide in four years. Even with that, the bank has not been immune from the trend of large banks eliminating some locations as customers increasingly shift to Internet banking. Bank of America nationwide maintained 4,335 offices as of June 30, 2019, down from 4,474 the previous year.

“We will continue to be where our clients are, and as our clients adjust how they interface with us, then we do make decisions to trim back our physical presence in a particular community,” Lewis said. “The good news is, we have, especially with coronavirus causing so many people to be working from home, we’re seeing our clients interface with us much, much more via digital. They’re choosing and finding ways to interface with us outside of a physical branch.”

Bank of America has a long way to go before it can match the state’s largest bank in terms of deposits: Wells Fargo. Wells Fargo ranks as the dominant bank in the state, with deposits as of June 30, 2019, of $31.98 billion, or 22.42% market share. Bank of America held deposits of $2.9 billion, or 2% market share.

Bank of America opened its Boulder branch in 2016. Christopher Wood/BizWest

But Lewis said that Bank of America is able to achieve higher efficiency at its locations than many banks, generating more deposits per location. Wells Fargo operates 150 branches in Colorado, according to the FDIC, giving it average deposits of $213.2 million per location, while Bank of America so far operates 11 branches in the state, with average deposits of $262.27 million per location.

Felicia Lewis

“We still feel very good about where we stand in Colorado,” she said.

Bank of America’s branches will include a full suite of services, including its Merrill Edge brokerage services, small-business lending, consumer banking and mortgage lending.

“Our goal is to have a full complement of specialists in our financial centers,” Lewis said.

© 2020 BizWest Media LLC

Bank of America NA (NYSE: BAC) will open at least five new branches in the Boulder Valley and Northern Colorado in the next couple of years, part of a major expansion of the banking giant into the state.

The Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank ranks as the nation’s second-largest bank in terms of assets and deposits as of March 31, 2020. Deposits totaled $1.58 trillion, compared with $1.84 trillion for JPMorgan Chase & Co. Assets totaled $2.6 trillion for Bank of America, compared with $3.14 trillion for JPMorgan Chase.

Bank of America’s Longmont branch is under construction at The Village at the Peaks shopping center. Christopher Wood/BizWest

Bank of America entered the Colorado market in 2015 with its first Denver branch and now operates 25 Colorado banking centers, concentrated in the Denver area. That number includes 11 branch locations, with the rest known as “advanced centers,” essentially peopleless financial centers from which customers are welcomed by a digital greeter who can walk them through various transactions.

Bank of America’s Colorado expansion has been concentrated in the Denver area, but the bank also has expanded outward from Denver, looking south to Colorado Springs and north as far as Fort Collins. It opened a Boulder location at 1965 28th St. in 2016, and plans to open branches in Broomfield, Fort Collins, Greeley, Lafayette and Longmont.

All told, Bank of America has identified at least 14 markets…