Washington Trust expands to Oregon

Washington Trust Bank has opened its first office in Oregon as it continues to expand into bigger markets.

The Spokane-based bank has successfully grown in Idaho, where it now plans to open a seventh branch.

CEO Pete Stanton said Washington Trust will operate a commercial-lending office in downtown Portland by early next year. He hired veteran Portland banker Chris Rasmussen to run the office and anticipates Washington Trust’s presence could grow to several offices in Oregon within a few years.

“Historically we hire the right people that know markets and let them lead any expansion,” Stanton said. The Portland office will have about 10 employees.

Stanton said the Oregon office will serve commercial clientele rather than attempting to break into the consumer banking market.

Washington Trust is 102 years old and calls itself the largest privately-owned bank in the Northwest. It has 32 branches across the region, including those in Spokane, Seattle, Bellevue, Boise, and the Tri-Cities.

The bank, operating under the fourth generation of Stanton family members, has assets of $2.4 billion.

Joining Rasmussen in Portland will be former Washington Mutual bankers Rorie Leone and Ed Kluss, and Jamie Hansen.

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