Gunnison Valley Bank seeks merger with State Bank of Southern Utah
By Suzanne Dean
GUNNISON—Gunnison Valley Bank, a fixture on Gunnison’s Main Street for more than 100 years, plans to merge with State Bank of Southern Utah, headquartered in Cedar City, during the first quarter of the year.
State Bank of Southern Utah announced the change in a press release on Dec. 31. The release said the merger had been approved by the board of directors of both banks, but still must be approved by federal and state regulators, and Gunnison Valley Bank shareholders.
State Bank of Southern Utah has $1.1 billion in assets and has 13 branches, located in Fillmore, Richfield, Circleville, Tropic, Orderville, Kanab, Santa Clara, Hurricane, Parowan and Cedar City.
A 2018 financial report lists Gunnison Valley Bank’s total assets at approximately $70.6 million.
Paul Anderson, president and CEO of Gunnison Valley Bank, said the merger would be a benefit to the bank’s loyal customers. “I am pleased to know that community banking will continue for many years to come in the Gunnison Valley,” he said.
Eric J. Schmutz, president and CEO of State Bank of Southern Utah said, “State Bank will bring more technology and banking products to customers in the area, such as online and mobile banking deposits, remote deposit capability, debit and credit card services, and greater ATM access to name a few benefits.”
Gunnison Valley Bank opened its doors in a white stone and brick building on Oct. 23, 1909. In 1955, a new main building was constructed to the south of the first structure. Then the two buildings were combined into one. The woodwork in the original building was preserved and the facade of the new building was designed to duplicate the original facade. In 1979, the Utah Heritage Foundation gave the bank an award for historic preservation.
One of the early cashiers was C.E. “Cy” Anderson, who joined the staff in 1923, and moved into management. His sons, Keith and Roger, served as loan officers. The current CEO, Paul Anderson, is Cy Anderson’s grandson.
The bank has only been robbed once. On Jan. 3, 1929, robbers walked through the front door and drilled through the safe. A group known as the Gunnison Posse apprehended the robbers and recovered the loot.
During a 100th anniversary celebration in 2009, Anderson said, “The reason we’re in business is because of the customers we have. As we build loyalty with them, they are loyal to us. We intend to keep providing the same great service to our customers that we have for the last 100 years.”