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Colorado’s Second-Largest Bank Keeps Community Top of Mind

Top Financial institutions in the state include FirstBank, Bellco and The IMA Financial Group


What does it take to be considered a top financial institution in a given geography? Is it a soft touch? Is a a brash, bottom-line focus? Find out below and hear from executives with FirstBank, The IMA Financial Group and Bellco.



In 1963, FirstBank started in a 50-foot trailer. It's now Colorado’s second-largest bank, with more than 750,000 customers at 120 locations in Colorado, Arizona and California. The bank offers a variety of deposit accounts, loans and banking services for personal and commercial customers. Recently, it began offering the mobile payment service Zelle.

FirstBank helped launch and continues to be the main partner behind Colorado Gives Day, the 24-hour online program that has raised more than $145 million for Colorado nonprofits since 2010.

“We believe that our business is only as strong as the communities we operate in,” FirstBank President Ron Tilton says. “When we do well, so does our community, and vice versa.”

FirstBank hosts a popular business video competition where companies can win $20,000 to help their businesses grow. Past winners include Fox Hollow Animal Hospital, Squirrelbox Storage and Anytime Fitness.

More than one-third of the 2,500 employees have been with FirstBank for 10 years or more. The recently renovated and expanded headquarters in Lakewood is a 227,000 square-foot amenity-filled campus, featuring a fitness center, a full-service café, rooftop patio, game room, nursing rooms for mothers and dozens of tech-enabled collaboration spaces and conference rooms. 



The IMA Financial Group is a diversified financial services company focused on protecting the assets of its widely varied client base through insurance and wealth management solutions.

IMA Financial Group is comprised of several companies that offer insurance, investment advisory and securities brokerage. The newest is IMAgine Analytics, a financial technology startup specializing in data management.

The IMA Foundation oversees the distribution of hundreds of thousands of dollars given by the 501c3 nonprofit and enterprise with a focus on arts and culture, education and youth.


Founded in 1936 as the credit union for Mountain States Telephone & Telegraph employees, Bellco now has more than 300,000 members and more than $3.7 billion in assets. In 2016, Bellco saw 10 percent growth in overall membership, with a nearly 30 percent increase in new members and double-digit growth in both loans and deposits balances.

In 2016, Bellco donated to more than 100 local community organizations and sponsored more than 60 community events. This year, Bellco became the presenting sponsor of the Denver Art Museum's "Free for Kids," which provides children 18 and under free general admission.

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Nora Caley

Nora Caley is a freelance writer specializing in business and food topics.

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