DENVER, CO — First Western Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ: MYFW), a financial services holding company headquartered in Denver, Colorado, has acquired Simmons Bank, including deposit liabilities, certain loans, cash, personal property, and other fixed assets. The acquisition includes four Simmons Bank locations in the Denver area.
First Western Trust Bank knows that in the midst of a global crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, individuals and companies all over the world are struggling, from global corporations to small businesses right here in Colorado. With the acquisition of Simmons Bank, First Western Trust Bank has expanded their ability to offer personalized, local services to reach a broader set of Colorado clients. From a few select clients:
“If you are looking for an incredible team that moves at the speed of business (not banking), you will be very pleased with the First Western Trust team.”
– Brett H.
“Without First Western Trust’s dedication, expertise, and empathy, our business would be in a very different place. Their comprehensive approach and ability to find unique solutions that fit us, not the other way around, is a breath of fresh air from our experiences with other commercial banks.”
– Aimee M.
In the last several months, as economic activity has changed dramatically, First Western Trust Bank has moved quickly to understand and meet the evolving needs of their clients, as well as businesses and their employees within the community:
- First Western Trust Bank quickly became an SBA-certified lender with the U.S. Small Business Administration in order to meet the growing needs of their clients and other businesses.
- First Western developed a complete and streamlined intake and approval process to manage operational risks and in preparation of participation in government lending programs within the 2020 CARES Act, including the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Loan Forgiveness Program, and Mortgage Forbearance Program.
- First Western reallocated associates across the organization in order to ensure the best possible support related to processing PPP loan and other program applications on behalf of our clients.
First Western Trust Bank participated in both rounds of the PPP, funding our first client loan related to this program on April 12th — well ahead of many larger financial institutions — in order to help their clients.
- All First Western markets participated in the PPP to assist clients.
- Many First Western associates worked well beyond their normal roles to assist clients with PPP as well as to ensure continued care and support for daily client needs.
- First Western assisted existing and new clients with PPP, with nearly 50% of total PPP volume coming from new clients. Many of those new clients came to First Western after not receiving the level of support needed from their existing banks and being referred to First Western by existing clients.
- First Western’s PPP Loan Origination (Over $200MM) now makes up as much as 15% of our total Q1 2020 assets — a proportion nearly twice the average (8%) for peer banks in the western region of the US.
- Most importantly, by working closely with their clients, First Western has helped their new and existing clients protect over 15,000 local jobs at risk within the communities they serve.
First Western Trust Bank has accomplished all this while working hard to close the acquisition of Simmons Bank, as well as honoring the 2020 commitments made to event sponsorships, donations, and other charitable giving. While many events have been canceled, the organizations behind them need support more than ever.
As First Western monitors COVID-19 related developments, the health and safety of their clients, associates, and communities continue to be the top priority at First Western Trust. In addition to taking great care to protect fellow associates and clients by moving to a “by appointment only” approach for in-person banking within their offices, First Western is also working hard to support and invest in the community during this time:
- First Western is proud to offer assistance, guidance, and expertise to assist small businesses in accessing the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans and other financial assistance options.
- First Western has made a special pandemic donation to the Denver Museum of Contemporary Art’s innovative and unique Octopus Initiative (OI). OI’s program provides commissions for local artists, along with stipends for materials and studio costs, as a part of a free art-lending program that allows the public to enjoy original artwork within their homes for ten months via a monthly lottery. This well-respected program helps connect citizens with the art of their time by providing an opportunity to bring art into the homes and lives of thousands in our communities.
- First Western has also made a donation to National Jewish Health’s (NJH) COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund. NJH, based in Denver, is the nation’s experts in treating adults and children with respiratory, cardiac, and immune-related disease, and its Emergency Response Fund supports a focus on developing and deploying high-speed coronavirus testing. In addition, NJH is working to provide additional care for patients who are sick with suspected COVID-19 or other acute respiratory illnesses.
Although the challenge ahead for everyone remains, First Western believes that by making an impact and providing support, they can help make a difference in every community they serve.
About First Western Financial, Inc.
First Western Financial, Inc., a financial services holding company, and its wholly-owned subsidiary, First Western Trust, are headquartered in Denver, Colorado. First Western Trust maintains operations in Colorado, Arizona, Wyoming, and California. Based on a mission to be the best private bank for the western wealth management client, First Western Trust provides a fully integrated suite of wealth management services on a private trust bank platform, which includes a comprehensive selection of deposit, loan, trust, wealth planning, and investment management products and services. First Western Financial, Inc.’s common stock is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “MYFW.”
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Theodore Gerbick, Director of Marketing