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World Savings to open Reno branch

John Seelmeyer

World Savings, the nation’s third largest savings institution, will make its entrance into the northern Nevada market early next year.

The company has begun construction on its first Reno branch at 4879 Kietzke Lane.

That’s near the Wal-Mart store at Firecreek Crossing.

The branch is expected to be open by January, said Tom McBroom, an executive vice president with the company based in Oakland, Calif.

World Savings styles itself as a traditional savings institution it even provides passbooks to its savings-account customers and the company is particularly successful in markets with large numbers of retirees or peoples nearing retirement age.

“We saw that demographic emerging in Reno,” McBroom said.

World got more impetus to widen its presence in northern Nevada after its first two branches in the state one in Henderson, one in Summerlin each gathered more than $150 million deposits in the first 12 months after they opened in 2002.

“The public reaction was astoundingly good,” McBroom said.

World’s strategy is very straightforward: It gathers consumer deposits and makes mortgage loans.

It doesn’t chase business deposits, and it doesn’t do business lending.

That’s a niche many other savings banks have departed in recent years, and McBroom said, “We’re happy to fill the void.” The company is keeping the door open for further branch locations in the Reno area, but won’t make any decisions until it can gauge the success of the first branch.

Then, too, McBroom said that further branch locations will depend on the company’s ability to find sites that meet its criteria.

Typically,World Savings opens branches near shopping centers anchored by grocery stores and demands easy access, good visibility and ample parking for its locations.

World Savings branch locations usually employ four or five people.

A unit of Golden West Financial Corp.,World Savings operates about 350 savings branches in nine states and lending offices in 38 states.

Its deposits on June 30 stood at $44.4 billion, and its assets totaled more than $72 billion.

In the second quarter of this year, it originated $8 billion in loans.

World Savings is 90 years old.

It was established in Madera, Calif., in 1912.