Arvest Bank Group operates more than 240 locations in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. Through Arvest Bank, it provides traditional services such as checking and savings accounts, CDs, and credit cards. The bank's lending activities mainly consist of commercial real estate loans, residential mortgages, and business, construction, and consumer loans. The group maintains a decentralized structure of about 15 individually chartered banks; local managers and directors control lending decisions and deposit rates in many communities. Descendants of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton (including bank CEO Jim Walton, a son of Sam and one of the richest men in America) control Arvest Bank Group.
In addition to Arvest Bank, the group also operates through Arvest Mortgage and Arvest Asset Management, which provides investments, retirement planning, trust services, online brokerage, and life and health insurance.
Arvest Bank Group has grown to be the biggest bank in Arkansas largely via acquisitions, but has recently set its sights beyond the state. The company expanded into Kansas when it bought Caney Valley Bancshares in 2007. It extended its reach in the Kansas City market in 2009 by buying three branches there from Harrington West Financial Group. Arvest later built on that acquisition when it acquired all of the deposits of the failed SolutionsBank, adding six more Kansas branches to its network.
Arvest Bank's revenues increased in 2010, but income was down slightly as expenses for salaries, employee benefits, premises, and equipment rose. The bank compensated by reducing the amount of deposits it carried on its books.