Rival warmly welcomes new bank on the block


U.S. Bank officials posted one of their signs at Academy Bank’s new downtown location as a joke.

U.S. Bank welcomed Academy Bank to the downtown neighborhood last week with a practical joke.

Unidentified officials from U.S. Bank posted a sign on the boarded windows of Academy Bank’s soon-to-open downtown branch, which is still under construction, that read “Construction funded by U.S. Bank.”

While U.S. Bank officials did not deny involvement in the prank, they did not name the person responsible for nailing up the sign.

However, Academy Bank Vice President Steve Ingham said he has a good idea who might be behind the act.

“I’ve got a few ‘friends’ over there,” he said with a laugh.

Ingham said someone phoned him last week with news of the U.S. Bank sign. So, he drove over to see it, but it had already been removed by the time he got there.

Academy Bank announced plans to open a downtown branch earlier this year to establish its presence in the commercial loan market. The branch’s doors are tentatively scheduled to open in mid-December.

U.S. Bank and Chase both have branches at the intersection of Pikes Peak and Tejon.

Ingham said he’s aware the act was a joke and that no retaliation is planned — at this time.

“I am delighted they find us creditworthy,” he said. “Where do I go to get my first draw on the loan?”

Firstbank reports growth

Firstbank Holding Co. is reporting continued growth over the first three quarters of 2005. The company reported a net income of $88.9 million for the period that ended on Sept. 30.

The net income represents a return on average assets of 1.7 percent and return on average shareholders’ equity of 22.5 percent. Earnings per share for the first nine-month period were $653.54.

Officials reported deposits during 2005 of $6.4 billion. Firstbank’s Colorado Springs branch at Rockrimmon Road and Vindicator Drive reported assets of $122.8 million.

Firstbank of El Paso County at Constitution and Powers reported assets of $9.5 million.

There are six smaller Firstbank branches throughout the city and one in Monument. There are 111 branches in Colorado.

Chipotle going public

The McDonald’s-owned Chipotle Mexican restaurant has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering.

McDonald’s, which controls about 92 percent of the Chipotle stock, is listed as the seller with the SEC.

It is uncertain how many shares McDonald’s plans to sell or how much the shares will cost.

With more than 450 locations nationwide, the Chipotle chain, known for its giant burritos, opened its first store in 1993 to compete in the “fast-casual” food market.

For the period ending June 30, Chipotle reported net income increased $5.55 million from the same period last year to reach $28.35 million.

Chipotle plans to list its class A common stock on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol CMG.

Rob Larimer covers banking and finance for the Colorado Springs Business Journal.