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ARCHIVED  July 30, 1999

Union Colony lands new branch in Brighton

BRIGHTON — Union Colony Bank of Greeley has acquired a World Savings Bank branch in Brighton, establishing its first presence in the fast-growing community.

The new office, located at 1600 E. Bridge St., has been approved by the Colorado Division of Banking and is headed by manager Valerie Espinosa-Martinez; Frances Pipczynski, president of the new branch, is scheduled to arrive on the scene in mid-August.

“We’re always looking at sites on the Front Range,´ said Union Colony senior vice president of retail banking Ray Knapp. “We looked at Southern Weld because we feel there will be an overflow of business into that area. We looked at the spurt of housing, and certainly they’re going through a growth phase — the market really fits our niche.”

Union Colony Bank was founded by Larry Mennefee in 1979, with the help of some Greeley investors. The bank originally operated out of a trailer in Cottonwood Square. Union Colony eventually was purchased by First National Bank of Nebraska.

Union Colony maintained branch locations in Loveland and Fort Collins until eventually turning those over to First National Bank of Fort Collins, a sister institution. Union Colony currently operates branch offices in Windsor and Brighton, and has two Greeley locations.

The bank’s total assets as of Dec. 31, 1998, totaled $249 million, up slightly from the $246 million recorded on the same date the previous year. But assets increased significantly with the Brighton acquisition — as of July 15, 1999, Union Colony’s total assets were $279 million, Knapp said.

“After an acquisition of this kind, you always grow quite a bit,” he said. Employment also increased significantly with the expansion: from 89 full-time equivalent employees on Dec. 31, 1998, to the current 104.

With First National Bank of Fort Collins adequately covering First National Bank of Nebraska’s concerns west of Interstate 25, Union Colony is focusing its efforts east of the Interstate, said Tom Flanagan, CEO of Union Colony Bank.

“We want to bring those banking services to Brighton that we already offer to Windsor and downtown Greeley,” Flanagan said. “We think Brighton’s a growing community and affords us the opportunity to grow our business in an area that has a very optimistic future.”

Officials at Union Colony speculated that World Savings is selling its rural branches to better position itself as a metro-banking institution. World Savings recently sold its Loveland branch to Centennial Bank Holding Inc. of Eaton.

World Savings officials were unavailable for comment.

BRIGHTON — Union Colony Bank of Greeley has acquired a World Savings Bank branch in Brighton, establishing its first presence in the fast-growing community.

The new office, located at 1600 E. Bridge St., has been approved by the Colorado Division of Banking and is headed by manager Valerie Espinosa-Martinez; Frances Pipczynski, president of the new branch, is scheduled to arrive on the scene in mid-August.

“We’re always looking at sites on the Front Range,´ said Union Colony senior vice president of retail banking Ray Knapp. “We looked at Southern Weld because we feel there will be an overflow of business into that…

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