Former Southwest Bancorp execs planning bank in Oklahoma City

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A group with ties to the recently acquired Southwest Bancorp is looking to open a bank in Oklahoma City.

Organizers of Watermark Bank have filed an application with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. in hopes of opening in Oklahoma City. The group plans to raise $20 million in initial capital.

Matthew Pollock is set to become the bank’s president and CEO. He recently stepped down as a regional president at SNB Bank, a unit of Simmons First National in Pine Bluff, Ark. Pollock oversaw a region that included Oklahoma, Kansas and Colorado.

SNB Bank became part of Simmons First after it bought Southwest in October.

“We’ve put together a solid group that will focus on business banking and entrepreneurs,” Pollock said in an interview. He said Watermark’s technology platform will be built for business owners, adding that the bank will also offer a form of concierge services.

The goal is to open in late 2018 or early next year, he said.

The group has met with the FDIC and the Oklahoma Banking Department.

"Both have been extremely helpful and receptive," Pollock said. "Think they are looking for good groups to form banks."

Gary McClanahan is expected to become the bank’s chief financial officer. He was director of risk management at First National Bank of Oklahoma and a finance officer at Bank SNB. He was also the CFO at First Commercial Bank when it was acquired by Southwest in 2015.

Scott Mueller, CFO at American Energy Partners and Arcadia Capital, will be the bank’s nonexecutive chairman. Fenimore, Kay, Harrison & Ford is providing the group with legal advice.

Watermark is looking to become the first independent bank to charter in Oklahoma since the financial crisis.

International Bank of Commerce received a charter and opened in 2017, though it is associated with International Bancshares in Laredo, Texas.

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