Organizers propose new bank in Ohio

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A group is looking to form a bank near Columbus, Ohio.

First Bank of Central Ohio would be based in Worthington, a suburb north of Columbus, according to an application filed on July 29 with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

The proposed bank would offer traditional loan and deposit products and services to individuals, along with small and midsize businesses, with a focus on commercial real estate, commercial loans and multifamily.

First Bank would originate and sell fixed-rate mortgages and be “moderately active” in adjustable-rate mortgages, residential construction and home equity, the filing said. While the bank would offer secured and unsecured consumer loans, they would make up “minimal level” of the overall portfolio.

Organizers plan to open with “a full complement of state-of-the-art technology,” including online and mobile banking apps for paying bills, remote deposit and setting up ACH transactions, the filing said.

John Smiley is set to become the bank’s chairman and CEO. He previously served as president of Columbus First Bancorp, which was sold in 2018 to LCNB. The filing said the remaining executives are being lined up.

The capital plan was redacted in the FDIC filing.

Ohio has received some interest when it comes to de novo activity.

Ohio State Bank opened in Columbus in April 2019 after organizers raised nearly $25 million in initial capital.

The FDIC in March approved an application for deposit insurance filed by organizers of Riverside Bank of Dublin. The group is required to raise at least $18 million before opening.

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