What Is the History of Umpquah Bank?


Quick Answer

The Umpqua Holdings Corporation and its chain of Umpqua Bank retail locations began as the South Umpqua State Bank in Canyonville, Oregon in 1953. The business was originally focused on serving customers who worked in logging in the area and was named for the nearby Umpqua River.

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Full Answer

The company experienced steady growth and expanded to further locations in Oregon, eventually branching out to other nearby states. The bank experienced a major expansion when it acquired Centennial Bancorp in 2002. It continued to acquire several smaller banks over the following decade, culminating in another major expansion with the acquisition of Sterling Financial Corporation in 2014. This brought the bank's total amount of branches to 394 and gave it a presence in Washington, Idaho, California and Nevada.

The bank established a following with customers by taking a non-standard approach to the setup of its branches. Branches are referred to as "stores" and are designed with more of a retail sensibility than the typical bank branch. The branches also often have activities such as virtual bowling and have been known to offer free treats to customers such as lattes and local hand-made cream.

Umpqua's headquarters are in Portland, and it is the largest bank based in Oregon as of 2015.

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