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Keep your chin up: Paul Williamson talks growth and support for Denver businesses

Even during the pandemic, Colorado saw a significant growth in both loans and deposits in 2020. We talk with Paul Williamson, Colorado regional president, to learn what factors contributed to the markets’ success and how UMB helped support the local economy.

What factors would you say most contributed to the growth and success of the Colorado region in 2020?  

The past year has been unlike any we have witnessed in recent history, but thanks to our employees, our growing brand awareness in the market and our reputation as a steadfast bank in all environments, we continue to be viewed and sought after as a trusted lender and financial partner.

Additionally, deposit growth has allowed us to continue to lend money to businesses and individuals during the pandemic. The growth we experienced intraditional consumer deposits as well as commercial deposits and institutional business has been a major contributor to our success. We also saw a decrease in spending from consumers and businesses alike, which resulted in an increase in deposits overall. Whenever there is uncertainty, we see a flight to quality and people want to put their money in a safe place.

Has the trust factor played a role in the growth in Colorado in the past year?

Absolutely. People trust UMB and feel confident keeping their money with us. We entered 2020 from a position of strength with a strong balance sheet and liquidity position. Our loan-to-deposit ratio allows us to be there for customers during all economic cycles, including this pandemic.

How has the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) impacted loans in Colorado?

From an overall financial perspective, our loan growth this year was largely due to our brand awareness and market presence as well as customer and client loyalty. And while PPP played a smaller role in that growth, to me, its real value was being able to help secure critical funds for our clients when they needed it most. In Colorado, we processed more than 1,070 PPP loans totaling more than $333.8 million. Overall, UMB processed more than 5,100 PPP loans to customers throughout our footprint, totaling more than $1.4 billion. It was a huge effort, but one we were glad to endeavor to help businesses throughout our footprint weather a very tough year.

What impact does UMB have on the local economy in Colorado?

We are lending money to help companies expand in a variety of industries, which has helped create jobs and build the local economy. We’ve done this by expanding our team with more leadership and additional commercial loan officers who serve as valuable resources for our new and existing clients.

Denver is one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S., so it is no surprise that the economy here has followed suit. As a financial services company and lender to hundreds of businesses in this market, UMB’s growth trajectory has matched the booming economy. And while 2020 was a challenging year in so many ways, we were fortunate to be able to continue to help many companies grow and contribute jobs to our residents.

While 2020 brought us all many challenges, we are proud of the growth we achieved and have proven to be strong financial stewards within our community and for our customers. As a bank built on a foundation of stability and soundness, our customers do business with us because they trust what we do and the counsel we provide. We will continue to lend to businesses to support our economy and remain nimble, flexible and responsive for our customers in 2021 and beyond.

What is one piece of advice you would give to business owners in Colorado for the year ahead?

Keep your chin up and don’t lose sight of your goals. While this last year has been difficult (or worse) for many businesses and individuals financially, there is a light at the end of the tunnel and a strong banking partner can help you navigate not only for today, but also for the long-term.

If you are interested in learning more about how UMB can help your business as a financial partner, visit our website

Stay informed on industry trends and noteworthy company news by visiting our Industry News. Follow UMB on LinkedIn, Facebook‡ and Twitter‡ to see regular updates about our company, people and timely financial perspectives.


When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.

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When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s Web site and go to Web sites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other Web sites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.