One of the largest independent bank holding companies based in Texas, Cullen/Frost Bankers owns Frost National Bank and other financial subsidiaries through a second-tier holding company, The New Galveston Company. The community-oriented bank serves individuals and local businesses, as well as clients in neighboring parts of Mexico, through more than 100 branches in Texas metropolitan areas. It offers commercial and consumer deposit products and loans, trust and investment management services, mutual funds, insurance, brokerage, and leasing. Subsidiaries include Frost Insurance Agency, Frost Brokerage Services, Frost Investment Advisors, and investment banking arm Frost Securities.
Business loans, including commercial and industrial loans, construction loans, and commercial mortgages make up more than 85% of Frost Bank's loan portfolio. The company serves a variety of industries, including energy, manufacturing, services, retail, telecommunications, healthcare, military, and transportation. Thanks to the high concentration of commercial loans, and the fact that Texas wasn't been hit as hard as other Sun Belt states, Cullen/Frost remained relatively unscathed by the nationwide mortgage meltdown. (It also claims it was the first bank in the US to turn down funds from the government's Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, in late 2008.) The company experienced upticks in net income in 2010 and 2011, thanks in part to more interest from earning assets such as loans and securities, and fewer provisions for loan losses.
Cullen/Frost has built its insurance business through acquisitions in recent years; since 2009 it has bought agencies in Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, and San Marcos that provide group employee benefit plans. The company continues to seek out acquisition opportunities while it also looks for ways to expand and diversify within its existing markets. To reduce its reliance on interest rate spreads, Cullen/Frost wants to grow its income from fees such as insurance commissions, trust investment fees, and service charges on deposit accounts. – less