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Here’s a look at which banks are losing customers in Cleveland and which ones are gaining

November 21, 2017 GMT

Here’s a look at which banks are losing customers in Cleveland and which ones are gaining

Huntington Bank has jumped to become the second-largest bank in Greater Cleveland, following its purchase last year of FirstMerit.

In the latest deposit market share report from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., KeyBank remains the largest bank in Greater Cleveland, with 22 percent of local deposits.

The annual FDIC report is important because it shows which banks are gaining customers and which ones are losing them.

Huntington leapt past PNC, Citizens and Third Federal to take hold of the No. 2 spot, by just a whisker. Huntington’s current deposit market share is almost exactly equal to the nearly 8 percent market share it had before, combined with the 6 percent market share of FirstMerit of Akron.

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The amount of deposits a bank has matters because banks need deposits to lend. Banks that are losing deposits may scale back on lending as well as customer service. They also may close branches and reduce other investments in the business.

It’s interesting that Huntington, on a net basis, didn’t lose local deposits. Lost deposits almost always happens in a merger, for a variety of reasons.

Sean Richardson, Huntington’s regional president, said the bank worked hard to make sure FirstMerit customers felt welcome at Huntington. And he believes FirstMerit customers embraced perks such as Huntington’s branches with extended hours, no-strings-attached free checking and 24-hour grace period on overdraft fees.

Richardson noted that consumer deposits have grown 2 percent since the FirstMerit deal closed last year. The FDIC report cut off on June 30.

“Quite honestly, being No. 1 or No. 2 in a market is a great accomplishment,” Richardson said. But the bank is more serving customers. If that’s happening, new accounts and new deposits will follow, he said.

KeyBank agrees that being No. 1 is a big deal; it’s been Cleveland’s largest bank since National City sold in 2008 and has basked in that. Key remains pleased with what it calls “strong deposit growth” in Northeast Ohio in its core businesses, said spokeswoman Kim Kowalski.

Key’s deposit balance was more than 7 percent higher than the growth rate of the majority of the top ten banks in Cleveland, she said.

Other highlights of the latest FDIC report:

Key’s local deposits slipped a bit, from 23 percent to 22 percent. It’s still up from five years ago, when it had 20 percent of local deposits. Key said that stemmed from some shifting of corporate deposits from the First Niagara acquisition.

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Citizens was a notable winner, with deposits jumping from 11.9 percent to 13.4 percent. Huntington, PNC and Citizens are essentially neck-in-neck in the No. 2 position, each with about 13.5 percent of deposits. Competition keeps everyone focused. “Ultimately, it’s good for the communities and good for the customers,” said Richardson of Huntington.

Third Federal’s deposits declined a bit while Chase’s inched up.

Most banks were flat, including Fifth Third, U.S. Bank, Dollar, Ohio Savings and First Federal Lakewood.

PNC and Citizens have both increased local deposits significantly in the last five years. Citizens’ market share has gone from 8.8 percent to 13.4 percent. “Deposits are a snapshot in time,” said Citizens spokeswoman Rory Sheehan. The bank is more pleased that it believes its “consumer-centric approach is resonating positively with our customers,” she said.

Greater Cleveland remains a highly competitive market with many strong players, as seven banks have at least 5 percent of deposits. “Competition in the market creates a healthy environment that benefits both clients and businesses,” said Kowalksi at Key. “Ultimately, our metric of success is helping our clients thrive by providing innovative products and services that help them achieve their savings goals.”