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Peoples Bank to see new owners


Peoples Bank shuttered its Jefferson location in late March, consolidating Albuquerque operations at its Uptown branch. (STEVE SINOVIC/JOURNAL)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The continued coupling of New Mexico banks with out-of-state holding companies knows no bounds.

Peoples Bank, with four branches in Taos County and one in Albuquerque, said that its Colorado Springs-based parent company will be acquired by Colorado-based National Bank Holdings Corp., which does business in several states.

The merger, pending approval of regulators, is expected to be completed later this year, according to information posted on the Peoples Bank website.

Following the closing of the transaction, Peoples Bank, with $532 million in assets, will operate under the Hillcrest Bank brand name in New Mexico.

Known for its “banking unusual” slogan, and chocolate chip cookies, Peoples Bank opened in Taos in 1993 and now has four branches there. The first Albuquerque branch opened in Uptown in 1999 and the Jefferson Street branch opened in mid-2007. The Jefferson branch was quietly shuttered in March of this year. The 7,500-square-foot space is now being marketed to new users by a local commercial real estate firm.

“The acquisition provides a strong market position in the attractive Colorado Springs and Overland Park (Kansas) markets, and expands our franchise into northern New Mexico,” Tim Laney, CEO of National Bank Holdings, said in statement.

Last month, the parent company of First National Bank of Santa Fe finalized its merger with Kansas-based Sunflower Financial, creating a “super-community bank” with 60 offices in five states. The move also affected First National Rio Grande of Albuquerque, which is a division of the Santa Fe bank. First National Santa Fe and First National Rio Grande are now known as First National 1870.