The parent company of Portland-based Umpqua Bank is selling to Columbia Banking System in a $5.1 billion deal that will keep the Umpqua brand and split the business’ headquarters between Tacoma and the Portland area.

The combined company will have $43 billion in deposits after the deal, with $15.3 billion in Washington and $16 billion in Oregon. Columbia CEO Clint Stein will run the combined business from Tacoma, while Umpqua CEO Cort O’Haver will be the company’s chairperson.

Umpqua is Oregon’s largest bank and is bigger than Columbia; its shareholders will own 62% of the combined business. Umpqua shares closed Tuesday down 4.7% on the news, to $19.93. Columbia’s shares closed down 14.2%, to $33.68.

The company will put its corporate office in Tacoma. Umpqua said it will move its Portland office out of the downtown plaza named for the bank into new offices on Kruse Way in Lake Oswego sometime next year. The bank’s move out of downtown Portland is another blow to the city’s core, which has been buffeted by protests, vandalism, homelessness, violent crime and prolonged, pandemic-related office closures.

The companies said they are combining to capitalize on Columbia’s small-business focus and Umpqua’s corporate banking. They will call their holding company Columbia Banking System.

The combined bank will have operations in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, California and Nevada.


Kurt Heath, Umpqua’s vice president of corporate communications, said in a written statement that the pandemic fundamentally changed the bank’s operations as more of its employees began working remotely.

“In asking them how they want to work in the future, it turns out that many of them really value the flexibility and work-life balance that a remote or hybrid work arrangement provides,” Heath wrote. “That also provides the company with a significant opportunity to consolidate our back-office locations and adopt a new model that locates offices in parts of the city where our people live.”

Umpqua is the biggest of the four publicly traded companies with headquarters in downtown Portland. The others are NW Natural, Portland General Electric and Schnitzer Steel Industries.