Total bank deposits in the metro Dalton area, which includes Whitfield and Murray counties, rose 3.5 percent in fiscal 2012, according to the FDIC’s annual summary of deposits.
Total deposits stood at $2 billion in the year ended June 30, up from $1.9 billion in fiscal 2011. The total number of bank offices in the two counties stood at 38 in 2012, unchanged from the previous year.
Deposits actually rose at the 14 banks doing business in the Dalton metro area from 2007 to 2010, from $1.9 billion to $2.1 billion, before dipping in 2011.
Bill Davies, city executive for BB&T, says rising deposits aren’t “necessarily a positive.”
“What we’ve seen through the (economic) downturn, particularly on the business side, is people holding on to their cash as opposed to reinvesting in equipment or expanding,” he said.
Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce President Brian Anderson said people could well be holding on to their money until they are certain the economy is improving.
“I’ll defer to the experts in the banking industry. But it certainly sounds reasonable to me that if someone has been unemployed for six months or a year and they do get a job, they aren’t going to start spending right away,” he said. “They’d be paying whatever bills they had to and buying those things they absolutely need but saving as much as they could. Everyone is being very cautious. I heard a major CEO say recently, ‘The numbers say we are in a recovery. But it just doesn’t feel like it.’”
Davies says the drop in deposits in 2011 could have been that people were feeling more optimistic and began to spend some of their money.
“It’s hard to say. They might have had to spend that money just to meet obligations,” he said.
In particular, Davies said, deposits might have slipped as local governments dipped into their fund balances in 2011.
“Maybe 2011 was the low point and things are starting to improve. I don’t know,” he said.
Alliance National Bank: $125M
Bank of America: $141.3M
Community & Southern Bank: $34.7M
First Bank of Dalton: $163.6M
First National Community Bank: $23M
Regions Bank: $134.2M
Stearns Bank: $8M
SunTrust Bank: $24.6M
Synovus Bank: $77.5M
Wells Fargo: $362.2M
Community & Southern Bank: $46.1M
First National Community Bank: $95.5M
Regions Bank: $24.1M
Synovus Bank: $98.6M
Wells Fargo Bank: $19.7M