Bank reacts to national turmoil
RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - First Republic Bank became the second-largest bank failure in U.S. history on May 1, and it has many people concerned about their finances.
We were curious what local banks thought about that news, so we caught up with Heritage Bank of Nevada’s long time president Stan Wilmoth, and man who recently took over that position Tom Traficanti.
“I think the concern is that the community banks are being put in the same pool as those California banks,” Traficanti said, adding that traffic at Heritage Bank hasn’t been affected by the bank crashes and they grew in March when much of this turmoil began.
An obvious concern for banks is interest rates, with the U.S. central bank recently increasing them to the highest level in 16 years to stabilize prices.
The benchmark rate is now between 5% and 5.25%, up from near zero in March 2022.
Wilmoth says there is nothing abnormal about the current interest rates. it just might feel like there is because there was a time when they were almost zero.
“I’ve been in this industry for 50 years and these are historically average rates,” Wilmoth mentioned.
The question that continues to loom over the financial world is the possibility of a recession. Traficanti says his experience with banking in Reno has led him to strike an optimistic tone.
“Employment is so good here, and people keep moving in. So, when you isolate local economies we may be recession proof here quite frankly,” he indicated.
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