Zions Bancorporation

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Zions Bancorporation
Public company
S&P 500 Component
Industry Finance and Insurance
Founded 1873
Headquarters Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
Key people
Harris H. Simmons, President, Chairman and CEO[1]
Products Financial Services
Revenue Increase US$2.383 billion (2016)[1]
Increase US$0.469 billion (2016)[1]
Total assets Increase US$63.239 billion (2016)[1]
Total equity Increase US$6.925 billion (2016)[1]
Number of employees
10,057 (2016)[1]
Subsidiaries Amegy Bank of Texas
California Bank & Trust
National Bank of Arizona
Nevada State Bank
Commerce Bank of Oregon
Commerce Bank of Washington
Vectra Bank Colorado
Zions Agricultural Finance
Zions Bank Capital Markets
Zions Credit Corporation
Zions Direct
Zions Management Services Company
Zions Public Finance
Zions Small Business Finance
Contango Capital Advisors
Website zionsbancorporation.com
Zions Bank tower in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Zions Bancorporation is a bank holding company headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah. Zions is on the list of largest banks in the United States.


Zions retail footprint

Zions' history dates back to the founding of Zion's Savings Bank and Trust Company, which was opened in the fall of 1873 by Brigham Young during the Mormon settlement of Utah. It was Utah's first chartered savings bank and trust company.

During the Panic of 1893, the bank managed not only to remain solvent, but continue to grow.[2]

During the early 20th century, Zions financed such firms as:[2]

The Panic of 1907 was the lone interruption in the steady growth of Zions. But even with this interruption, deposits grew.

Great Depression[edit]

At the time of the Wall Street Crash of 1929, Zions was in a very sound financial position. On the morning of February 15, 1932, customers began a run on the bank, waiting in lines that ran out of the building and onto the street. Tellers were instructed to honor all withdrawal requests. In 2.5 days, a total of $1.5 million was withdrawn. Near the end of the second day, bank president Heber J. Grant placed a sign in the bank's window that read, in part:

[The bank] is in a very strong, clean, liquid condition. It can pay off every depositor in full. Fear of its failure is not only without foundation, but positively foolish. There is not a safer bank in the State or the Nation.[2]

Lines of customers that had been as long as a city block began to dwindle, and within five or six days many customers returned to deposit their money. By month's end, total deposits were more than withdrawals, and Zions had survived the Great Depression.[3]

At the end of 1957, Zion's merged with Utah Savings and Trust Company and First National Bank of Salt Lake City.[3] The surviving institution was named Zions First National Bank.


In 1960, Keystone Insurance and Investment Company, which had been founded in 1955, bought a majority stake in Zions from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and changed its name to Zions Utah Bancorporation. It kept that name until 1987, when it became shortened to Zions Bancorporation, its present name, to reflect the growing presence of the company outside of Utah.[4]

Zions went public in January 1966.[3]

Throughout the long bear market of the 1970s, its stock performed well, rising from its low, early in that decade, to ten times in value by 1985, with a three-for-two split in 1981. By 1986 the company had a book value of over US$170 million, with steady annual earnings of over US$26 million.

It expanded into Nevada in 1985 with the purchase of Nevada State Bank.[2][5]

The company entered Arizona in 1986 with the acquisition of Mesa Bank.[2][6]

It expanded into Colorado and New Mexico in 1996 by acquiring Pitkin County Bank and Trust, Valley National Bank of Cortez, and Centennial Savings Bank.

Zions made many acquisitions in 1997 and 1998.[7]

In 1997, Zions acquired Vectra Banking Corporation and Tri-State Finance Corporation of Colorado.[8] Zions also acquired Tri-State Bank of Idaho.[9] It also bought 27 branches in Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, and Utah from Wells Fargo.[10]

Zions expanded into California in 1997, Washington in 1998, Oregon and Texas in 2005.

In 1999, the company bid for First Security Corporation but it was acquired by Wells Fargo[11] after Zions was forced by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to restate its results in prior years due to the way it accounted for acquisitions.[12] However, after the acquisition closed, Zions became the largest bank headquartered in Utah.

In 2001, the company was added to the S&P 500 stock market index.[13]


In September 2008, one of Zions' subsidiaries, Nevada State Bank, acquired the insured deposits of failed Silver State Bank, which was closed by Nevada state officials. Silver State was the 11th bank to fail in 2008.

On August 31, 2010, Zions announced the sale of its NetDeposit subsidiary to BankServ.[14]

Zions received a $1.4 billion investment from the U.S. government as a result of the Troubled Asset Relief Program. The final $700 million was repaid on September 26, 2012 and the government realized a profit of $253 million from its investment in the company.[15][16]

On June 1, 2015, Zions Bancorporation announced a corporate restructuring in order to cut an estimated $120 Million in operational expenses. Under the restructure, all of the affiliates will cease to exist as separate entities; local banks will maintain the same branding, but will legally all be the same company.[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f ZIONS BANCORPORATION 2016 Form 10-K Annual Report
  2. ^ a b c d e "Zions Bancorporation: Corporate Overview & History". SNL Financial. 
  3. ^ a b c Knudson, Max B. (November 29, 1998). "1873 gathering led to the creation of Zion's Savings Bank". Deseret News. 
  4. ^ SNL: Zions Bancoporation
  5. ^ Calkins, Alison (March 25, 1996). "NSB president Hofmann drives change at oldest bank in Las Vegas Valley". Las Vegas Sun. 
  6. ^ Kristof, Nicholas (July 23, 1986). "ARIZONA BANKING SHOWDOWN". The New York Times. 
  7. ^ "Zions Bancorporation, by the numbers". Las Vegas Sun. November 29, 1998. 
  8. ^ "Zions Bancorporation, Vectra Banking Corporation, and Tri-State Finance Corporation Announce Merger Agreements" (Press release). PRNewswire. September 24, 1997. 
  9. ^ "Zions Bancorporation and Tri-State Bank Announce Acquisition Agreement" (Press release). PRNewswire. May 1, 1997. 
  10. ^ "Zions Bancorporation Completes Acquisition of 27 Branches From Wells Fargo Bank" (Press release). PRNewswire. July 19, 1997. 
  11. ^ NOL, MICHAEL (April 11, 2000). "Wells Fargo to Buy First Security for $2.9 Billion". Bloomberg L.P. Los Angeles Times. 
  12. ^ Knudson, Max (October 26, 2000). "First Security swallowed up". Deseret News. 
  13. ^ "Zion replaces ALZA on S&P 500". Marketwatch. June 19, 2001. 
  14. ^ "BankServ to Acquire NetDeposit From Zions Bancorporation" (Press release). GlobeNewswire. August 31, 2010. 
  15. ^ "Zions Bancorporation Redeems Its Remaining $700 Million Of TARP" (Press release). PRNewswire. September 26, 2012. 
  16. ^ "Zions Bancorporation Repays in Full its Remaining $700 Million in TARP Funds, Overall Positive Return on Tarp’s Bank Programs Now Totals More than $21 Billion" (Press release). United States Treasury. September 26, 2012. 
  17. ^ "Zions to Undergo Corporate Restructuring". The Wall Street Journal. June 1, 2015. 

External links[edit]