United Bank marks 174th anniversary

PARKERSBURG – For more than a 100 years United Bank has been handing out shamrocks to customers. The tradition continues again Monday as the institution celebrates its 174th anniversary.

The practice of giving shamrocks originated in 1902 by the bank’s president, Christian Neely, whose daughter Ida was the first to present shamrocks to bank customers.

“It’s a tradition we enjoy,” said Chad Mildren, regional president of United Bank. “This Monday we’re inviting customers and friends alike to stop by one of our offices for their live shamrock and refreshments,”

Shamrocks grown from imported Irish seeds will be distributed at all Wood and Jackson county locations as a way of thanking customers for their business.

United first opened its doors as the Northwestern Bank of Virginia on a section of land that would later become Parkersburg. What started as a small bank has grown into a high-performance bank holding company with $8.4 billion in assets and dual headquarters in Charleston, W.Va., and Washington, D.C. Today, United employs more than 1,500 financial professionals and continues to operate using the fundamentals on which it began – integrity, hard work, teamwork and caring for the people and the communities it serves, officials said.

Richard M. Adams, chairman/CEO of United Bankshares, said, “Clearly, our competitive advantage is our people. We currently have 300 employees who have been with United over 15 years. That’s a tremendous amount of experience. And every year, we recruit the best and the brightest from local colleges and state universities to add to our United team.”

United Bankshares Inc. (UBSI), the parent company of United Bank, is ranked the 55th largest banking company in the U.S. based on market capitalization. UBSI has been a publicly traded company on NASDAQ for more than 25 years. In 2012, United increased dividends to its shareholders for the 39th consecutive year, a record only one other major banking company in the nation has been able to achieve.

Bank Director Magazine recently ranked United Bankshares Inc. as the 18th best performing bank of all U.S. banks with assets between $5 and $50 billion. The rankings were based upon profitability, capital adequacy and asset quality.