One of Eddy County’s oldest banks merged with another in eastern New Mexico, expanding its reach throughout the state.
Western Commerce Bank of Carlsbad announced this week it planned to acquire Western Bank of Clovis, planning to close on the deal by early 2023.
After the sale is finalized, the Clovis bank will join Western Commerce’s networks of banks throughout eastern and southern New Mexico, including locations in Loving, Hobbs, Lovington, and Tatum and Albuquerque.
Western Commerce was first opened in 1961 in Loving, a small village about 30 minutes south of Carlsbad, and today has 11 full-service locations throughout New Mexico.
It was originally called Loving State Bank, according to the U.S. Banks and Branches Database, and became Commerce Bank and Trust after moving its main office to Canyon Street in Carlsbad in 1964.
The bank became Western Commerce Bank in 1982, and acquired Federal Savings Bank in Carlsbad eight years later, followed by the acquisition of Liberty National in Lovington in 1991.
In the decades since, Western Commerce Bank expanded to serve customers throughout Eddy County and neighboring Lea County, along with New Mexico’s biggest city in Albuquerque.
The Clovis purchase will further grow Western Commerce’s presence in the region and continue Western Commerce President Jason Wyatt’s family legacy, he said.
Wyatt’s grandfather, the late former-New Mexico Sen. Don Kidd was also the chief executive officer and president of the bank before Wyatt, and of Western Bank.
He always hoped to merge the two, Wyatt said.
Kidd died in August 2020, after serving as a Republican in the State Senate from 1993 to 2005 for the State’s 34th Senate District, today representing parts of Eddy, Otero and Dona Ana counties and held by Republican Sen. Ron Griggs.
He was appointed to New Mexico State University’s Board of Regents in 1985 and served for six years, founding an NMSU Scholarship fund in 1986 and going on to found Western State Schools of Banking at the University of New Mexico.
The merger, Wyatt said, would fulfill one his grandfather’s long-standing wishes throughout his years of accomplishments.
“Merging both banks was the wish of my late grandfather, Sen. Don Kidd, former Chairman and CEO of both Western Bank of Clovis and Western Commerce Bank,” Wyatt said in a statement.
“Western Bank of Clovis and Western Commerce Bank have had been interrelated since the founding of Western Bank of Clovis in 1975 through mutual ownership and management.”
The merger will grow staff at both locations, Wyatt said, and expand offered services to the people of Roosevelt and Curry counties.
“Due to the close relationship of Western Bank of Clovis and Western Commerce Bank, both banks share the same common goals: providing fair, friendly and quality banking services to our customers and creating an enjoyable work environment where our employees experience fair and professional treatment,” he said.
“In addition, the character, strength and experience of our combined staff rival that of any bank of similar size in the nation.”
Chairman of Western Bank Kenneth Fadke said the merger will only serve to increase efficiency for the bank chain.
Combining Western Bank of Clovis and Western Commerce Bank will only make both banks stronger,” he said. “Other than Western Bank’s name and logo, nothing will change with the exception of improved efficiencies, larger staff, greater resources and a wider variety of products and services.”
Adrian Hedden can be reached at 575-628-5516, [email protected] or @AdrianHedden on Twitter.