Zions Bancorporation is a bank holding company headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah. Zions is on the list of largest banks in the United States.
Zions' history dates back to the founding of Zion's Savings Bank and Trust Company, which was opened in the fall of 1873 by Brigham Young during the Mormon settlement of Utah. It was Utah's first chartered savings bank and trust company.
During the Panic of 1893, the bank managed not only to remain solvent, but continue to grow.
During the early 20th century, Zions financed such firms as:
The Panic of 1907 was the lone interruption in the steady growth of Zions. However, deposits grew from $2 million in 1901 to $9 million in 1918.
On the morning of February 15, 1932, 3 years after the Wall Street Crash of 1929, customers began a run on the bank, waiting in lines that ran out of the building and onto the street. Tellers were instructed to honor all withdrawal requests. In 2.5 days, a total of $1.5 million was withdrawn. Near the end of the second day, bank president Heber J. Grant placed a sign in the bank's window that read, in part:
[The bank] is in a very strong, clean, liquid condition. It can pay off every depositor in full. Fear of its failure is not only without foundation, but positively foolish. There is not a safer bank in the State or the Nation.
Lines of customers that had been as long as a city block began to dwindle, and within five or six days many customers returned to deposit their money. By month's end, total deposits were more than withdrawals, and Zions had survived the Great Depression.
In 1957, Zion's merged with Utah Savings and Trust Company and First National Bank of Salt Lake City. The surviving institution was named Zions First National Bank.
In 1960, Keystone Insurance and Investment Company, which had been founded in 1955, bought a majority stake in Zions from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and changed its name to Zions Utah Bancorporation. It kept that name until 1987, when it became shortened to Zions Bancorporation, its present name, to reflect the growing presence of the company outside of Utah.
In January 1966, Zions became a public company via an initial public offering.
The bank expanded into Nevada in 1985 with the purchase of Nevada State Bank.
The bank entered Arizona in 1986 with the acquisition of Mesa Bank.
It expanded into Colorado and New Mexico in 1996 by acquiring Aspen Bancshares, which operated Pitkin County Bank and Trust, Valley National Bank of Cortez, and Centennial Savings Bank.
Zions made many acquisitions in 1997 and 1998.
In 1997, Zions acquired Vectra Banking Corporation and Tri-State Finance Corporation of Colorado. Zions also acquired Tri-State Bank of Idaho. It also bought 27 branches in Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, and Utah from Wells Fargo.
Zions expanded into California in 1997 and Washington in 1998, Oregon in 2005.
In 1999, the company bid for First Security Corporation but it was acquired by Wells Fargo after Zions was forced by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to restate its results in prior years due to the way it accounted for acquisitions. However, after the acquisition closed, Zions became the largest bank headquartered in Utah.
In 2001, the company was added to the S&P 500 Index.
In 2005, the company expanded into Texas with the purchase of Amegy Bank.
In September 2008, Desert Hills Bank of Phoenix, Arizona, with $496 million in assets, was seized by the FDIC and acquired by Nevada State Bank, a subsidiary of Zions.
On August 31, 2010, Zions announced the sale of its NetDeposit subsidiary to BankServ.
Zions received a $1.4 billion investment from the U.S. government as a result of the Troubled Asset Relief Program. The final $700 million was repaid on September 26, 2012 and the government realized a profit of $253 million from its investment in the company.
On June 1, 2015, Zions Bancorporation announced a corporate restructuring, which included the consolidation of 7 bank charters into a single charter and $120 million in expense reduction initiaves.