Home Loan branching out in opening Montrose bank

Phil Castle, The Business Times

A branch operation of Home Loan State Bank is expected to open in August in Montrose.

The branch, at 340 S. Townsend Ave., is set to open no later than Aug. 10, said Mark Harmon, who will serve as branch president.

“We’re very excited,” Harmon said.

A group of five people involved in community banking in Montrose joined with Home Loan State Bank based in Grand Junction to open the branch, the first for the 118-year-old institution, Harmon said.

The five offer a combined 90 years of community banking experience, including commercial and agricultural lending as well as personal banking, Harmon said.

Along with Harmon, the partnership includes Nicolette Allen, Kent Cox, Latisha Saunders and April Sutherland.

Craig Springer, president of Home Loan State Bank, said the five not only bring to their duties industry experience, but also share the value of building long-term relationships with customers. “It was a chance for us to hopefully put something special together,” he said.

Moreover, Montrose offers a good market for the style of services Home Loan State Bank offers, Springer added. “It just made too much sense not to do.”

Harmon said the branch will open in a 1,500-square-foot facility that will include a walk-in lobby, drive-through window and automated teller machine.

The branch will initially employ the five partners. But Harmon said he expects to hire one or two tellers within a couple of months. The staff will grow along with the operation, he added.

Harmon said he believes the branch will fill a niche in the Montrose-area market with local owners making local banking decisions and offering one-on-one relationships.

Home Loan State Bank traces its origin to what was established in 1897  in Grand Junction as Home Loan and Investment Co.  Home Loan converted an industrial bank charter into a commercial bank charter in 2008, opening Home Loan State Bank to offer a full array of banking services.

The change allowed Home Loan to not only offer checking accounts, debit cards and Internet banking services, but also branch out in other ways.

Springer said branch operations and possible acquisitions have been considered for several years to expand the geographic service area of Home Loan State Bank. Home Loan Insurance serves the entire Western Colorado region, he added.

Montrose was among the cities eyed for possible branch locations, Springer said. “It’s a great community.”