Las Cruces bank to buy El Paso bank branch

Vic Kolenc , El Paso Times
Published 6:15 p.m. MT May 24, 2017 | Updated 58 minutes ago

Western Heritage Bank agrees to buy Dallas-based PlainsCapital Bank’s El Paso branch

Western Heritage Bank, a small Las Cruces bank with a former El Paso bank executive leading its board of directors, has agreed to buy PlainsCapital Bank’s branch in West El Paso, Western Heritage officials announced Wednesday.

The PlainsCapital branch, at 4849 N. Mesa St, is the only El Paso location operated by the Dallas bank chain, which has 63 Texas branches.

Western Heritage is buying the branch’s $25 million in loans, its building and assuming $25 million in deposits, said Jim Volk, a former El Paso banker who is chairman of the boards for Western Heritage and its holding company, New Mexico First Financial Inc.

No sale price was divulged for the deal, which must be approved by government regulators. The sale is expected to be completed in the third quarter.

As the closing nears, El Paso PlainsCapital customers will be contacted by Western Heritage with information about the transition and the bank’s services, according to a Western Heritage news release.

Volk has more than 45 years of banking experience, most of it in El Paso. His previous job was BBVA Compass Bank’s El Paso area district executive, overseeing BBVA branches in El Paso and Southern New Mexico.

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He retired in 2011. But someone approached him more than a year ago about the troubled Western Heritage Bank. Volk said he organized a group of investors who sold $12.5 million in shares in Western Heritage’s privately held holding company, which helped revive the bank.

It has branches in Las Cruces and Deming and had assets of $85 million, including $38 million in loans, at the end of April, Volk said.

“We approached PlainsCapital about buying the (El Paso) branch,” which it acquired a few years ago through an acquisition, Volk said. “It didn’t fit their footprint.”

“This will increase our size pretty good and El Paso will provide growth (opportunities) in the future,” Volk said. El Paso will be “our primary expansion market, and where most of our loans will be.”

Greg Cory, who had worked many years in El Paso banks, was hired early this year to be president and CEO of Western Heritage and its holding company, Volk said.

More information: westernheritagebank.com; plainscapital.com

Vic Kolenc may be reached at 546-6421; vkolenc@elpasotimes.com@vickolenc on Twitter.

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