Ohio receives first post-crisis de novo application

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An Ohio group aims to form a community bank to serve the Columbus area.

Ohio State Bank is being planned by five organizers, including veteran banker Dave Mallett. The group submitted its application to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. on Monday. The bank would be based in the Columbus suburb of Bexley.

The group, which plans to raise capital from local investors, has been planning the bank for about nine months, Mallett said in an interview. The proposed bank would offer traditional community banking services, as well as business banking, throughout central Ohio.

The group plans to raise $20 million to $25 million in initial capital, according to its application with the FDIC.

“In central Ohio, we had a plethora of community banks up until this past year,” Mallett said. “Every single one of them has been sold. So the short answer is that Columbus and the surrounding communities need a strong community bank and we would like to fill that void.”

The last de novo in Ohio was Columbus First Bank in 2007.

In addition to being Ohio's capital, Columbus is also home to Ohio State University.

Four banks — Huntington Bancshares, JPMorgan Chase, PNC Financial and Fifth Third Bancorp — controlled about three-fourths of the deposits around Columbus in mid-2017, according to the most recent FDIC data. The insurance giant Nationwide, which holds about 7% of the market's deposits, recently announced plans to sell its deposits and loans to another institution.

Mallett knows firsthand about area consolidation. He was CEO of First Bexley Bank when it was sold to First Financial Bancorp in Cincinnati in 2014. Mallett said most of the new bank's organizers have ties to First Bexley.

Organizers are hopeful Ohio State Bank will open its doors by the end of the year. The FDIC’s comment period ends on June 6.

“We will be a hybrid community bank,” Mallett said. “We will serve the community we are in and provide business banking throughout central Ohio. It’s nothing new for us. That is the exact model we used for First Bexley Bank until we sold.”

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Community banking De novo institutions Capital Ohio