Midland States Bank is closing its doors in Colorado Springs.

Remaining operations, which includes its mortgage loan department, are expected to close by the end of next week.

Kristie Bender, who was the bank’s market president, said she had tried to assure people in Colorado Springs that Midland States Bank was committed to succeeding in the Springs.

“I ended up wearing some mud on my face,” she said. “That left a sour taste.”

Bender said it was her opinion that the Illinois-based bank pulled out of the Springs largely because it had purchased Centrue Financial Corporation on Jan. 26.

“They just bought 22 branches near Chicago that were in their footprint,” she said. “It was more cost effective. They made the decision not to spend more money here.”

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She said Midland had used the Springs office as “a test market.”

“We weren’t a full-service bank and that was part of the problem,” she said. “We didn’t have a building, a full staff and you couldn’t make deposits here.”

Bender added, “Midland is a good bank. They had Midwestern values and all that. But we were just a loan production office.”

Asked if the commercial loan department was shut down because it didn’t do enough business, Bender said, “I was told it was numbers. To me, numbers means, ‘We don’t want to spend any more money here.’ We closed a lot of deals in town and had a huge pipeline. It really caught us off guard. I don’t think ill of them. But I don’t think it was because of production, because we were producing.”

She said Midland States Bank was introduced to Colorado when it acquired a Heartland Bank branch in Denver in 2014. Midland then decided to test the market in Colorado Springs.

“They came in Monday and shut us down, and they left Monday,” said Bender, who had been with Midland States Bank for 16 months. “It was ironic. I was clearing out boxes and before I left the building, my phone was going nuts. I asked how people had heard and they said, ‘This may seem like a big town but it’s really not.’ Before I’d left the building, four different banks were making me and my entire team an offer.”

Bender said her team will meet Thursday to consider options from a local bank and three banks based elsewhere.

“Those three are all bigger than Midland, which has about $4.6 billion in assets,” Bender said. “None of the other three are less than $11.5 billion, and they’re going to open full-fledged branches here. And we’re talking fast, by the end of the year.”

Fred Sinkovits, Midwestern State Bank’s commercial relationship manager who recently moved to Colorado Springs from Illinois, was reportedly in Denver on Wednesday but did not return a call from the Business Journal.

 

2 COMMENTS

  1. This is not the reason this bank backed out locally. This is a terrific market, and the owners in iillinois absolutely committed to it. She simply promised a gigantic loan pipeline that she couldn’t possibly deliver. They left because she has very limited commercial banking experience or knowledge other than residential mortgage loan origination, and they eventually realized she couldn’t deliver.

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