Number of banks shrinks but assets increase

  • Number of banks shrinks but assets increase

OKLAHOMA CITY – The number of banks in the Sooner State has declined by eight in the past 12 months and by 15 in the last two and a half years, but assets have increased significantly during that period.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. counted 193 banks in Oklahoma during the first two quarters of this year. In comparison, Oklahoma had 201 banks in both the second and third quarters of 2019 and at the end of 2018, and 208 banks were operating across the state in 2017, FDIC records indicate.

Consolidation, not failure, is the reason, state Banking Commissioner Mick Thompson said. “We don’t have any problem banks right now,” he said recently.

“We’re seeing more and more mergers,” Thompson said. The state Banking Board approved 11 mergers in the past 20 months. “And it’s not just because of size, but also because of management,” the commissioner said. In some cases the bank president is retiring “and the kids don’t want to run it,” he said.

“Most of our mergers are in-state banks buying other in-state banks,” which keeps their assets and employees in Oklahoma, Thompson said.


Assets of the surviving institutions have grown almost 28% during the past year and a half: from $119.2 billion in 2018 to $152.5 billion in the second quarter of 2020 (April, May and June).

The “sharp increase” in assets can be attributed to the federal Paycheck Protection Program, the Oklahoma Business Relief Program to assist companies adversely affected by the coronavirus, and other stimulus programs, said Adrian Beverage of the Oklahoma Bankers Association. In addition, the Federal Reserve “lifted cash reserve requirements for banks,” noted Beverage, chief of staff and director of government relations for the OBA.

Of the 193 banks counted in Oklahoma by the FDIC:

  • 64 of them (33.2% of the total) had assets of less than $100 million;
  • 46 of them (23.8%) had assets of $100 million to $250 million;
  • 69 of them (35.8%) had assets ranging from $250 million to $1 billion;
  • 12 banks (6.2%) reported assets of $1 billion to $10 billion; and
  • 2 banks (1%) have assets of more than $10 billion each.

Although net income declined by 3.9% from a year ago, Oklahoma banks “have become better capitalized, growing equity capital by $877 million (6.1%) compared to last year at this same point in time,” Beverage said in an Aug. 26 news release.

The FDIC’s current state profile shows that during Q2 of this year, Lawton had 13 banks with $1.53 billion in deposits; Oklahoma City, 72 banks with deposits of $33.9 billion; Tulsa, 57 banks with $26.6 billion in deposits; Fort Smith-Arkansas/Oklahoma, 20 banks holding $4.5 billion in deposits; and Enid, 14 banks with $1.5 billion in total deposits.

The banks in those five markets constituted 176 of the 193 in the state.

In an examination of the quality of assets held by Oklahoma banks, the FDIC found that past-due and non-accrual loans declined from almost 2% of total loans in Q1 this year 1.46% in Q2. Net loan losses have grown from 0.01% in the first quarter of 2020 to 0.05% in the second quarter; still, that’s lower than the 0.13% rate of 2019.


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the unemployment rate in Oklahoma in July was 7.1%, a marked increase from the 6.4% rate in June but substantially less than the 12.6% rate in May and 14.7% in April.

In the Lawton Metropolitan Statistical Area, the BLS numbered the civilian labor force in July at 49,887 of whom 46,255 had jobs, for an unemployment rate of 7.3%.

Statewide, Oklahoma’s civilian labor force numbered 1,805,400 in July, an increase of 38,100 from June but almost 39,000 fewer than were employed in February, prior to the arrival of the coronavirus, BLS ledgers reflect.

Total nonfarm employment totaled 1,612,400 in July, 88,300 below the employment level of February.

Employment in the mining and logging category (which includes the energy exploration/production sector) slipped in July to 34,500, which was 28.6% fewer than a year ago.

Manufacturing employment was recorded at 127,000 workers, almost 10% fewer than a year ago. Employment in the construction industry declined from 81,200 in February to 75,100 in July, and was 9.8% lower than a year ago.

Every other sector also realized employment declines from a year ago: trade, transportation and utilities, -3.5%; leisure and hospitality, -5.7%; information, -2.1%; financial activities, -0.1%; professional and business services, -9.1%; education and health services, -2.7%; government, -1.9%; and other services, -4%.

Despite the economic conditions, non-business bankruptcy filings per 1,000 Oklahoma residents was calculated at 1.91 during the second quarter of this year, a significant improvement over the 2.6/1,000 rate of the second quarter of last year, the FDIC report showed.