New Wells Fargo market president Sam Inman is upbeat about Boulder’s reputation — and his new role to play in it.

Wells Fargo’s clients locally continue to improve their cash-flow situations and buy new real estate and equipment, Inman said. Commercial and residential real estate values continue to improve.

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, 2013 is expected to be a better year than 2012 for everybody, he said.

San Francisco-based Wells Fargo has more than $1.4 trillion in assets. It is ranked the No. 1 financial institution in Boulder County and has 14 branches in the region.

Inman held numerous roles at Wells Fargo in the past 12 years before coming to Boulder.


Magnetic metrics

When it comes to economic recovery news, both Boulder County and Colorado are doing better in the short-term than are most other places in the nation, according to Brian Lewandowski, a research associate in the business research division at the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado-Boulder.

One key metric in the regional economy: More people are moving into Colorado than are moving out of the state — and that keeps the real estate market stable, Lewandowski said.

Other key metrics include employment and retail sales. As previously reported, employment in the Denver/Boulder metropolitan statistical area numbered 1,419,800 jobs in December, 0.6 percent below its previous peak in April 2008, based on preliminary data from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, Lewandowski said.


FirstBank sees growth

Business grew in 2012 at FirstBank Holding Co.’s 13 local branch locations.

The bank has seven branches in Boulder and six in Broomfield.

FirstBank’s Boulder-Broomfield market reported a 23 percent increase in bank assets for 2012, growing to $355.9 million on Dec. 31, from $289.3 million for 2011, according to the bank’s year-end earnings report.

Bank deposits increased 14.7 percent to $634.2 million from $552.9 million for the year before. Loans grew 23.6 percent to $345.6 million from $279.5 million in 2011.

In addition, FirstBank was named a top workplace in the nation in a third-party employee survey done by Workplace Dynamics in Exton, Pennsylvania. FirstBank, based in Lakewood, is the largest locally owned banking organization in Colorado, serving more than 600,000 customers.


Guaranty county’s No. 2

In a separate ranking recently, Guaranty Bancorp in Denver was recognized as the second-largest Colorado-based bank in Boulder County by deposits: $252.9 million.

SNL Financial, a global company with offices in Boulder, crunched the numbers from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to come up with that ranking.

Guaranty has four local bank branches.

Guaranty has moved in to its new downtown Boulder branch at 1300 Walnut St., which features drive-up lanes, a 24-hour drive-up ATM and new Saturday hours to support its growth in the market, said Jody Soper, a bank spokeswoman.


Rewards for savings

Local U.S. Bank savings account customers have received $83,500 in rewards from a program in force in Boulder since 2010.

In all, customers saved about $14.5 million in the savings account program Savings Today and Rewards Tomorrow put on by parent U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB) in Minneapolis. U.S. Bank has 14 local branches.

For each customer’s initial efforts to save $1,000, U.S. Bank would give him or her a $50 bank Visa rewards card. Customers who kept the money in their accounts for a year earned another $50 rewards card.

U.S. Bancorp is the fifth largest commercial bank in the United States with $354 billion in assets at the end of 2012.


Sanitas Fund launched

Wealth management firm Crestone Capital Advisors LLC in Boulder has launched the new Sanitas Fund, with 48 investors investing a total of $44.3 million. The financial instrument, a hedge-fund pooled fund, is still open to qualified investors, said Barry Neumann, a Crestone spokesman. Those interested in investing in the fund must put in at least $500,000.

Crestone has about $900 million under management, Neumann said.


SBA helps with bidding

If you have a construction or service business and are bidding on government contracts, a new Small Business Administration program may help.

The new surety bond guarantee program more than triples the amount your business can be covered for public and private contracts — to $6.5 million from $2 million.

The guaranty program can help a small business that would otherwise be unable to gain bonding in the marketplace, Karen Mills, SBA administrator, said in a press statement from SBA. Helping small businesses helps spur economic growth, Mills said.

More information is online at www.sba.gov/osg/.

Beth Potter can be reached at 303-630-1944 or bpotter@bcbr.com.