In Manhattan, there are several local and even large regional banks, such as UMB Bank, Landmark National Bank and Commerce Bank, but no national banks are present. The lack of national banks has presented an issue for some students who don’t bank with one of the banks here in Manhattan.
“It was kind of a pain for me,” Kara Roberts, junior in food science and industry, said. “I had to set up a separate checking account with Commerce Bank when I started school, but I also have one at home with my bank in Kansas City.”
Manhattan city commissioner Rich Jankovich works for Commerce Bank. However, in recent campaign elections, Commerce Bank did not contribute to Jankovich’s campaign, nor did any other bank in Manhattan, according to public records provided by Jolene Keck, elections supervisor.
“My own employer does not fund my campaign at all,” Jankovich said. “So, the way that all of us do, is that we go out and solicit funds from friends, neighbors, local businesses and hope that they would see me as a viable candidate and support me financially as well as spiritually, so to speak.”
According to the voting record from Sept. 11, 2013 to now, Jankovich also routinely abstains from voting on amendments that would be a conflict of interest due to his employment at Commerce Bank. Since September, this has included three separate votes.
While Jankovich’s campaign received more donations than his competitors, totaling $14,551.10, his contributors were largely independent people, real estate and construction companies and rental property owners. Jankovich and recently elected city commissioner Usha Reddi both received $500 from the Manhattan Firefighters PAC.
So if the reason for the lack of national banks in Manhattan doesn’t have any specific correlation to any city officials, what is the reason? Bank of America has branches in Junction City, Lawrence and Topeka, so why not Manhattan?
There is a Bank of America ATM in the K-State Student Union, however, there are no full branches of the bank in Manhattan.
“They’ve talked about adding a branch [in Manhattan] but just haven’t made the move yet,” Dallas Bergman, Bank of America teller operations specialist, said. “I think they are just waiting to see how the ATM does there before opening a full branch.”