Group applies to open minority-owned bank in Washington

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The nation’s capital has suddenly become a popular market for de novo activity.

A group of organizers on Tuesday filed an application with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to open Moxy Bank. The de novo would be classified as a minority deposit institution, said Casey Mauldin, who would serve as the bank’s president and CEO.

The group is looking to raise $25 million to $30 million in initial capital, according to its FDIC application. The goal is to open in the first quarter.

Though organizers first considered opening a bank in 2015, the effort gained momentum over the past year. “The regulators have been phenomenal to work with,” Mauldin said.

Melissa Bradley is the bank’s proposed chairman. She is a managing director of Project 500, a business development program designed to help diverse businesses build revenue, staff and investment. She is also the co-founder and a managing director at Sidecar Social Finance, which provides advisory and capital services to individuals, institutions and social enterprises.

The bank would focus heavily on low- and moderate-income customers, offering traditional banking products and a financial literacy program. Depositors would not be allowed to overdraft; rather, the bank plans to use analytics to help customers forecast spending patterns and encourage saving, Mauldin said.

"The digital platform will allow for financial literacy videos, personal budgeting or personal financial management and mobile access to personal digital bankers," organizers said in their application.

"On-demand access to webinars and social media format videos will provide access to financial coaching on topics of money management, savings, debt levels, credit score[s] and others," the filing added. "All segments of the bank's target market, including the unbanked or underbanked, will realize the benefits of this type [of] educational delivery."

Moxy said in its application that it plans to open a branch at 1301 Pennsylvania Ave., near the Potomac Avenue Metro Station.

Mauldin said the location would house a 2,000-square-foot “nanobranch.” The bank would also open an operations center and loan production office in Charlotte, N.C. The model should help organizers hire people in the Charlotte area with de novo experience, Mauldin said.

“We need more minority entrepreneurship in the banking industry,” said Tony Plath, a retired professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and a banking consultant. “It’s exciting to see someone come out with a concept that is innovative and helps the African-American community.”

Hiring will be critical for Moxy, Plath said.

“The African-American community is a face-to-face, personality driven segment,” said Plath, who is not working for the group. “The key to success is having people who can connect with the community.”

Mauldin was chief innovation officer at Carolina Premier Bank for seven years. The bank, which once set up a Washington office with a robot greeter, sold itself last year to Select Bancorp.

Caryn Johnson, a former chief operating officer at Carolina Premier, would have the same post at Moxy, according to the group's application with the FDIC. Mac Fleming, who was recently the chief financial officer at Northstar Bank in Florida, will be the proposed bank's CFO.

Keith Walters, who held several IT posts at Carolina Premier, is set to become Moxy's chief technology officer.

Moxy is the third group to disclose plans to open in Washington.

Marathon International Bank has already filed an application with the FDIC. While the bank would focus on the Ethiopian-American community, organizers also plan to offer loans and deposits to a broad range of individuals and businesses.

Another group is planning VisionBank, a de novo that would be led by Mindi McClure, founder and CEO of MHM Capital, an advisory firm focused on equity and debt capital markets.

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Community banking De novo institutions Capital FDIC Washington DC North Carolina