Local Banking Growth Area Community Banks Expanding during Tough Times

By Gordon, Mark | The Florida Times Union, August 8, 2001 | Go to article overview

Local Banking Growth Area Community Banks Expanding during Tough Times


Gordon, Mark, The Florida Times Union


Byline: Mark Gordon, Times-Union business writer

Despite an economy that's running on empty, locally run banks around Northeast Florida are surging ahead at full speed, opening new branches and buying up others. And after more than a year of haggling with financial regulators, even CenterBank, the troubled operation run by local banking executive Raymond Mason Jr. is finally set to open tomorrow.

San Marco-based CenterBank has been pushing back its opening since last year and the much anticipated announcement comes during a busy time in local banking circles: Prosperity Bank, a state-only operation in St. Augustine recently bought out three competing bank branches, and The Jacksonville Bank, based downtown and operating for two years, is also going through a rapid expansion.

Area bankers say one reason for the recent banking boom is that the First Coast has been able to stiff-arm the economic downturn other cities across the country are facing. Also, the recent federal interest rate cuts have generated new customers for lending departments.

"When people start losing money in the stock market," said Gil Pomar, president and chief executive officer of The Jacksonville Bank, "they start to go to banks, so they can get a guaranteed return."

Banks like Pomar's and Prosperity have their work cut out for them too, because the pair of giant national banks in Jacksonville -- First Union and Bank of America -- account for about 75 percent of the banking market. That leaves dozens of credit unions, community banks and other financial institutions fighting to serve the remaining 25 percent.

CenterBank hopes to grab a piece of that market, especially in the small business lending department. The bank opening itself, though, has been the first hurdle. It took longer than most bank openings, industry experts said.

CenterBank was originally supposed to open in 2000 but in August of that year, officials pushed it back to November. In November, however, the bank said it wanted to avoid the Christmas holiday season and instead would open in the first part of 2001.

Then, in January, as the new opening date crept up -- and five months after hiring and training about 20 employees -- it again postponed the debut. And this time it dismissed three-fourths of the staff.

Bank officials refused to elaborate on what caused that delay, although at that time the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which is one of three agencies to approve a bank opening, hadn't yet approved the operation.

The new plan now calls for CenterBank to open for business tomorrow, and have a grand opening celebration the week of Sept. 3.

As far as what took so long in the first place -- bankers and regulators said the bureaucratic process to open a bank normally takes about six months -- CenterBank executives have been keeping silent.

Mason refused repeated requests to be interviewed for this story. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Local Banking Growth Area Community Banks Expanding during Tough Times
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.