Zions Bancorporation

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Zions Bancorporation
Public company
S&P 500 Index component
Industry Financial Services
Founded 1873; 145 years ago (1873)
Founder Brigham Young
Headquarters Salt Lake City, Utah
Key people
Harris H. Simmons
(Chairman and CEO)
Scott J. McLean
(President and COO)
Paul E. Burdiss
Revenue Increase $2.609 billion (2017)
Increase $0.592 billion (2017)
Total assets Increase $66.288 billion (2017)
Total equity Increase $7.113 billion (2017)
Number of employees
10,083 (2017)
Subsidiaries Amegy Bank of Texas
California Bank and Trust
National Bank of Arizona
Nevada State Bank
Vectra Bank Colorado
Zions Bank
Zions Direct
Website zionsbancorporation.com
Footnotes / references
Zions Bank tower in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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


Zions retail footprint

The bank's history dates back to the founding of Zion's Savings Bank and Trust Company, which Brigham Young opened in the fall of 1873 by 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.[2] However, deposits grew from $2 million in 1901 to $9 million in 1918.[2]

Great Depression[edit]

On the morning of February 15, 1932, 3 years after the Wall Street Crash of 1929, 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 In 2.5 days, a total of $1.5 million was withdrawn.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 (and LDS Church) 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]

In 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 was shortened to Zions Bancorporation, its present name, to reflect the growing presence of the company outside of Utah.[2]

In January 1966, Zions became a public company via an initial public offering.[3]

The bank expanded into Nevada in 1985 with the purchase of Nevada State Bank.[2][4]

The bank entered Arizona in 1986 with the acquisition of Mesa Bank.[2][5]

It expanded into Colorado and New Mexico in 1996 by acquiring Aspen Bancshares, which operated Pitkin County Bank and Trust, Valley National Bank of Cortez, and Centennial Savings Bank.[6]

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 and Washington in 1998, Oregon in 2005.

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

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

In 2005, the company expanded into Texas with the purchase of Amegy Bank.[14]


In September 2008, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) seized Desert Hills Bank of Phoenix, Arizona, with $496 million in assets and sold it to Nevada State Bank, a subsidiary of Zions.[15]

On August 31, 2010, Zions announced the sale of its NetDeposit subsidiary to BankServ.[16]

Zions received a $1.4 billion investment from the U.S. government as a result of the Troubled Asset Relief Program. It repaid the final $700 million on September 26, 2012, and the government realized a profit of $253 million from its investment in the company.[17][18]

On June 1, 2015, Zions Bancorporation announced a corporate restructuring, which included the consolidation of seven bank charters into a single charter and $120 million in expense reduction initiaves.[19][20]


  1. ^ "Zions Bancorporation 2017 Form 10-K Annual Report". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "History". Zions Bancorporation. 
  3. ^ a b c Knudson, Max B. (November 29, 1998). "1873 gathering led to the creation of Zion's Savings Bank". Deseret News. 
  4. ^ Calkins, Alison (March 25, 1996). "NSB president Hofmann drives change at oldest bank in Las Vegas Valley". Las Vegas Sun. 
  5. ^ Kristof, Nicholas (July 23, 1986). "Arizona Banking Showdown". The New York Times. (Subscription required (help)). 
  6. ^ Knudson, Max B. (November 20, 1996). "Zions Bancorp to Merge With Aspen Bancshsres". Deseret News. 
  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). Zions Bancorporation. September 24, 1997 – via PRNewswire. 
  9. ^ "Zions Bancorporation and Tri-State Bank Announce Acquisition Agreement" (Press release). Zions Bancorporation. May 1, 1997 – via PRNewswire. 
  10. ^ "Zions Bancorporation Completes Acquisition of 27 Branches From Wells Fargo Bank" (Press release). Zions Bancorporation. July 19, 1997 – via PRNewswire. 
  11. ^ Nol, Michael (April 11, 2000). "Wells Fargo to Buy First Security for $2.9 Billion". Los Angeles Times. Bloomberg L.P. 
  12. ^ Knudson, Max B. (October 26, 2000). "First Security swallowed up". Deseret News. 
  13. ^ "Zion replaces ALZA on S&P 500". Marketwatch. June 19, 2001. 
  14. ^ Nii, Jennifer K. (July 7, 2005). "Zions to buy Amegy bank". Deseret News. 
  15. ^ "FDIC Failed Bank Information: Information for Silver State Bank, Henderson, NV". FDIC. September 5, 2008. 
  16. ^ "BankServ to Acquire NetDeposit From Zions Bancorporation" (Press release). BankServ. August 31, 2010 – via GlobeNewswire. 
  17. ^ "Zions Bancorporation Redeems Its Remaining $700 Million Of TARP" (Press release). Zions Bancorporation. September 26, 2012 – via PRNewswire. 
  18. ^ "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). Department of the Treasury. September 26, 2012. 
  19. ^ "Zions Bancorporation Announces Corporate Restructuring And Positive Operating Leverage Initiative" (Press release). Zions Bancorporation. June 1, 2015 – via PRNewswire. 
  20. ^ "Zions to Undergo Corporate Restructuring". The Wall Street Journal. June 1, 2015. (Subscription required (help)). 

External links[edit]