An Ohio group seeking to open a community bank says it has received an enthusiastic response from the Cincinnati investment community.

In July, the proposed bank conducted a preliminary capital campaign that received nonbinding statements of interest totaling $4.7 million, or 94% of its capital goal, bank organizers said.

"Achieving this level of interest in such a brief period is convincing evidence that many people in greater Cincinnati believe Anderson Bank will fill a critical need for back-to-basics banking," said David L. Bodie, a former Star Bank executive who is slated to be president and chief executive of the new institution.

Anderson Bank's organizers intend to begin their public offering next Tuesday and will continue it through Oct. 2, unless the group reaches its $5 million goal earlier.

Investments of $2,500 to $200,000 will be accepted from up to 175 shareholders, organizers said. If all goes according to plan, the bank would open by yearend or early 1996, Mr. Bodie said.

If successful in obtaining the needed regulatory approvals and capital, Anderson Bank would be the eighth state-chartered de novo in Ohio since 1990, and the second this year.

Analysts said such start-ups are relatively unusual because of regulatory obstacles and the costs associated with opening a bank, particularly for the technology that banks need to be competitive today.

"This is a fairly unique phenomenon," said Ross A. Demmerle, analyst at McDonald & Co. Securities of Cleveland. "But if there is a need for something, whether it's a store or a bank, and people can make money doing it, then they will do it.

"This has not generally been the case with new banks because of all the rigmarole you have to go through," he added, however.

Anderson Bank's organizers have already completed part of the process - receiving approval from the Ohio Division of Banks last week.

Mr. Bodie worked 20 years at Star Bank, where until 1992 he had been president and chief executive of its $850 million Kentucky franchise. The proposed chairman of Anderson Bank's board of directors is Dan Meyer, who heads Vanguard Financial Co. and has 30 years' experience in mortgage banking and other financial services.

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