Transportation problems might slow some bank processing

Small banking in Nevada is not nearly as affected as that in the international business community in the wake of Tuesday's terrorist attacks, but slowdowns in processing are a natural consequence of airplanes being grounded for some banks.

Business Bank of Nevada spokesman Paul Stowald said several employees with connections to the World Trade Center were given time to contact relatives Tuesday, but business in the Silver State continued as usual.

One Las Vegas bank manager's daughter was two floors below where the initial airplane crashed into the World Trade Center. She was reportedly safe after evacuating the building he said.

Local banks might see a small slowdown in processing of financial transactions, Stowald said, especially those processed out of state.

"A lot of the smaller banks fly work to Arum Technology in Glendale, Calif.," he said. Business Bank of Nevada has four Nevada branches, including one in Carson City. "Obviously we can't do that right now, but we are making arrangements for ground transportation."

Midmorning Tuesday, Stowald said there had not been a noticeable spike in withdrawals at bank branches, despite the United State Treasury Department's announcement that it is freeing up cash for introduction into the market.

Business Bank of Nevada remained open Tuesday with normal hours.

Heritage Bank, with its two branches in Carson City and Reno, will remain under normal operation with its 36 employees, said Stan Wilmoth, bank president.

"We don't know what ripple down effect this will have on the economy," he said. "We will just have to wait and see."

Heritage Bank does all of its processing in house, and Wilmoth does not foresee complications with customers' accounts.

Wells Fargo Bank's 18-story tower in Las Vegas was closed Tuesday at the request of the landlord, the bank said.

In Northern Nevada and statewide, 100 percent of Wells Fargo branches remained open, said Laura Shulte, president of Wells Fargo in Nevada.

"I don't envision any disruptions," she said. "Anybody that needs to is hooking up from home," she said of the Las Vegas building closure. "It will be open (Wednesday)."

The building was evacuated at 10:15 a.m.

Irwin Union Bank, which has a branch on East College Parkway, is also operating relatively smoothly considering the disruption in Manhattan's financial district.

"Fortunately for us the federal reserve system is a system and not a building," Said Irwin Union Carson City branch president Greg Nixon. "It is not something that can be destroyed."

Nixon said Tuesday afternoon that the bank was urging customers to remain calm, and that there does not appear to be a threat of a rush on bank deposits.

Irwin Union Bank temporarily closed an office in an Indianapolis highrise, Nixon said.


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