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8/3/2003

Local Vectra branches staying

By Tony Kindelspire
The Daily Times-Call

LONGMONT Vectra Bank Colorado has announced that it intends to sell off nearly a fifth of its branches, but none in Boulder County.

We will be selling 10 branches, and five of them will be up in the northeast part of the state, said Bruce Alexander, president and CEO of Vectra Bank Colorado.

The closest branches to Longmont that will be sold are in Fort Lupton and Greeley, Alexander said, adding that the sale of the branches will help the bank hone its focus.

If anything, wed like to grow and expand in Longmont, he said. Our focus going forward is really going to be on targeting the smaller and medium-sized businesses, and the employees, owners and managers of those businesses.

He said he would like to see the 10 branches sold as a package, although in some cases it might make more sense to sell one or two as stand-alones.

The company will also be abandoning some of its grocery-store operations.

Vectra, with 55 branches in 31 Colorado counties, including one in Longmont and two in Boulder, is the fifth largest bank in the state, with $2.7 billion in assets.

Alexander said the branches being unloaded total under $200 million in assets.

Besides the northeast part of the state, branches in the San Luis Valley are also being sold.

Were focusing from Pueblo north, along the I-25 corridor, and selected mountain communities where we have a strong presence today, Alexander said, adding that he thinks these areas will be ripe for expansion in the future. I think what were recognizing is where our strengths are and where we need to focus our growth.

Tony Kindelspire can be reached at 303-776-2244, Ext. 291, or by e-mail at tkindelspire@times-call.com.