Group aims to form first new bank in Mass. in decade
A group in Springfield, Mass., has applied to form a new bank.
Organizers of Green Apple Bank & Trust, which plans to serve central and western Massachusetts, intend to offer retail services and commercial and commercial real estate lending, according to an April 27 application with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. The proposed bank could also offer asset management services.
The group hopes to raise $25 million to $30 million in initial capital. If it opens, Green Apple would become the first new bank in Massachusetts since 2008, according to the state's Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation.
“The company will deliver platforms to significantly shorten wait times for loan decisions and for opening accounts,” the application said. “The company will empower its front-line staff to make decisions in the best interests of the customer.”
The application notes that Green Apple, which aims to open by the end of this year, would focus on small-business banking, commercial real estate lending, personal banking, renewable energy, local agriculture businesses and the food security sector.
Jeffrey Sullivan, a bank consultant and former community banker, would be the proposed bank’s CEO. Frank Fitzgerald, a lawyer who helped form Bank of Western Massachusetts in 1986, would be chairman.
Sullivan, who previously worked for Fitzgerald, said in an interview that he looks forward to leveraging technology and talent to build a competitive community bank.
"Technology has really changed the game in the last few years, and the idea of starting with brand-new technology is really exciting," he said.
Sullivan said he is also interested in creating checking products and financial literacy programs to serve the unbanked. He added that the local community has been supportive of the group's efforts, with some young business owners expressing an interest in becoming investors and customers.
The board is made up mostly of local business owners.
Organizers plan to lease space in Springfield’s business district for its main office. They also plan to apply for a full-service branch nearby. The application noted that the Springfield area has lost four locally owned banks in recent years.
“Timing is good for a de novo bank in this market,” the application said.