When C1 Financial decides it needs a new technology application, it doesn't turn to an outside software developer or an off-the-shelf solution. Why should it? The $1.5 billion-asset St. Petersburg, Fla.-based community bank has an in-house team of highly skilled developers that has already produced a number of applications for C1 bankers and customers.
President and chief executive Trevor Burgess sees his technology development team, C1 Labs, as a differentiator for his four-year-old company, producing products it can use to generate business and, eventually, sell to other banks. C1 raised more than $42 million in an initial public offering last year. In its registration document, the company revealed it was "exploring the opportunity of licensing these technologies to third parties."
C1 has not announced any deals to date, but in a conference call last month, Burgess hinted some news might be forthcoming. "We hope to provide a full update on C1 Labs and our technology developments in the next few months," he said.
The unit has produced a number of apps C1 is using internally.
One of the newest, SBA 1st, is an application for iPhone or Android that educates potential borrowers on Small Business Administration loan products and provides a quick determination of their eligibility. Burgess said C1 is still testing SBA 1st, but he added the product has fared well and he is hopeful it can help boost the company's SBA lending. Indeed, with the new app in mind, Burgess said C1, which booked $489 million of loans in 2014, wants to boost its SBA lending to 10% of total origination volume.