Niche bank in Ogden serves truckers, businesses only

Jun 24 2011 - 4:44pm

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NICK SHORT/Standard-Examiner
Jose Martinez removes a tube from a gas tank after filling it with propane at Mountain States LP Gas Company on Thursday in Ogden.
NICK SHORT/Standard-Examiner
Jose Martinez removes a tube from a gas tank after filling it with propane at Mountain States LP Gas Company on Thursday in Ogden.

OGDEN -- Transportation Alliance Bank doesn't have tellers or an ornate lobby at its Ogden headquarters, but it has quietly carved out a unique national niche by providing working capital and equipment financing to the trucking industry and other businesses.

TAB Bank, headquartered at 4185 Harrison Blvd., was established in 1998 as a subsidiary of Flying J Inc. to serve the transportation industry.

The bank is a wholly owned subsidiary of FJ Management Inc. The bank has been unaffected by Flying J's 2008 bankruptcy filing and subsequent merger last year with Pilot Travel Centers LLC.

TAB Bank has about 220 employees in Ogden and about $500 million in assets, said Eric Myers, the bank's marketing director.

He said TAB Bank likely flies under the radar of most consumers.

"We are not a consumer bank and offer a specific product," said Myers.

TAB Bank was initially formed to provide financial products such as debit cards for over-the-road truckers.

It has since branched out to offer services such as accounts receivable and asset-based lending, lines of credit, equipment loans and deposit products for a variety of small and midsize companies across the U.S.

The bank is one of only about 50 industrial banks in the U.S., Myers said. The majority are in Utah because the state is one of the few that permits chartering of those institutions, he said.

Myers said the bank has about 350 commercial customers, split about evenly between trucking firms and nontransportation companies.

One of the bank's customers is Ogden-based Mountain States LP Gas Company, which has used TAB Bank to acquire working capital.

Amanda Clark, office manager for Mountain States, said her company has obtained fuel cards for drivers and loans from the bank to purchase vehicles. Mountain States' drivers also take advantage of the bank's services when they are on the road, she said.

"It works out well for our drivers because they can bank with them at Pilot Flying J truck stops," she said.

TAB Bank has been successful because it aims to create custom financial solutions for companies that are unable to obtain financing from traditional lending institutions, Myers said.

In addition, the bank expanded last year when it acquired the $80 million accounts receivable portfolio of Stearns Financial Services, based in Minneapolis.

Stearns Financial Services was established in 2003 to provide accounts receivable financing and to re-discount credit facilities for small- to medium-size commercial businesses and finance companies.

In addition to its lending activities, TAB Bank also strives to be civic minded and this year will contribute $78,000 to a variety of area organizations, including St. Anne's Center, Your Community Connection, Ogden Rescue Mission and the Family Support Center, Myers said.

"We have a significant number of employees in this community, and we want to support the organizations they support."

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