Two Kansas banking families are joining forces to go de novo in Johnson County, a booming Kansas City suburb that has been a hotbed of big-bank acquisition activity in recent years.

The Winters, who own Peoples National Bank and Trust, Ottawa, and the Sabatinis, who own Capital City State Bank and Trust Co., Topeka, have applied for a new charter to establish Johnson County Bank in Overland Park, Kan., with a branch in Olathe.

They intend to build upon two Household Bank branches with deposits of nearly $22 million that they have filed to purchase separately for a premium of 3.5% of total deposits at the closing.

Johnson County's population grew 31% between 1981 and 1991, according to the Johnson County Economic Research Institute. During that time, Johnson County accounted for 47% of the net increase in new business in Kansas and 51% of the growth in Kansas City's urban core counties.

But because of several bigbank acquisitions in the area by the likes of Boatmen's, Mercantile, and Bank IV, "there are fewer and fewer options in our community for small business and sole proprietorships," said Daniel P. Winter, who will be president and chief executive of the new bank. "They need more feeding and watering."

The new bank, which organizers would like to have open by December, will target credits between $80,000 and $1 million, he said.

Mr. Winter, now president of Peoples' branch in Stanley, Kan. said his current bank's presence in Johnson County will be complimentary competition for the startup.

"Simply put, 'there's enough of the business we're going after, we won't be beating each other up at all," Mr. Winter said. "It's going to be very much a brothersister relationship."

The Winters and the Sabatinis -- including Daniel's father, Winton, and Frank C. Sabatini, who is slated to be chairman of the new bank -- have a longtime business and personal relationship, Mr. Winter said.

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