RIVERSIDE, Calif. – According to an ex-Zions Bank executive, the bitter credit union/bank clash in Utah has much to do with “basic competition at work” and an eagerness by Zions management to keep an out-of-state rival from gaining market share in that state. That assessment comes from Christopher O’Malley, who joined the $623 million Altura Credit Union here last month as vice president-sales, a new position. “Competition is what keeps us all on our toes, but what is happening in Utah centers on Zions’ efforts to surpass Wells Fargo after it acquired First Security,” observed O’Malley, referring to Wells Fargo’s acquisition of Zions’ main rival, the old Salt Lake-based First Security Corp. formerly the largest bank in the state. Prior to joining Altura, O’Malley had been with Zions First National Bank for three years as vice president-sales and service heading up the bank’s 33-branch northern division O’Malley maintains Utah credit unions remain a competitive force that Zions felt had to be reckoned with while the Salt Lake bank, with large operations in California and Nevada sought to curb the inroads of San Francisco-based Wells Fargo. “I believe Zions has now moved ahead of Wells Fargo,” said O’Malley who also expresses his satisfaction at joining a CU where he said he admires “the passion of fellow employees to serve members and the sense of giving something back to the community.” O’Malley is a former branch manager, credit analyst and loan officer. He attended Brigham Young University and holds a degree from Arizona State University, Tempe.

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