Great Western Bank branches in 3 Omaha-area Walmarts will close

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Posted: Friday, February 14, 2014 12:00 am

Great Western Bank, sixth in Omaha-area deposit-share, said Thursday it plans to close three metro-area branches located inside Walmart stores.

The branches are in the Walmarts at Bellevue’s Wolf Creek shopping center; at 72nd Street and Giles Road in Papillion; and at the Irvington store on North 99th Street in Omaha.

The branches are slated to close in late April, said Gary Grote, the Omaha-based group president for Great Western. The Sioux Falls, S.D.-based bank has about 5 percent of the metro-area deposits, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

“It is a case of leases expiring and us allocating resources in the way that makes the most sense,” Grote said. “We are very happy to be in Omaha and see it as a growth market.”

Walmart did not respond to email messages left with its corporate headquarters.

Great Western is the U.S. operation of National Australia Bank Group. It operates 26 branches in the Omaha area and 68 in Nebraska, part of about 200 in the Midwest. The company has more branches in Nebraska than in any other state.

The bank was the lender on the redevelopment of the Nebraska Crossing Outlets shopping area, which opened to overflow crowds late last year that flocked to a roster of international retailers such as Brooks Brothers and Coach.

“We have been involved in a number of large projects and that one is as high-profile as it gets for us,” Grote said.

The bank has been expanding branches in the Midlands. In August, Great Western said it was entering Sioux City, Iowa, naming a market president charged with setting up a branch and lending operation.

Great Western was formed in 1907 and says it is the seventh-largest ag bank in the country and has been rated by regulators as “well capitalized” for more than a decade.

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