Republic in Ky. hires former CEO of Black-run bank to run loan program

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Republic Bancorp in Louisville, Ky., has hired the former CEO of a Black-run bank to oversee a program focused on helping small businesses in disadvantaged communities.

The $6 billion-asset company said in a press release that Pedro Bryant will also serve as an executive vice president.

Bryant was chairman, president and CEO of Metro Bank for 18 years, until it was sold in April to the $624 million-asset Liberty Bank in New Orleans. Bryant initially stayed as Liberty’s regional president for the Louisville area.

Before joining Metro, Bryant was president and CEO of American State Bank in Tulsa, Okla.

Pedro Bryant will oversee small-business lending efforts at Republic Bancorp.
Pedro Bryant will oversee small-business lending efforts at Republic Bancorp.

Metro Bank had one branch and $27 million of assets at the time of its sale, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Founded in January 1997, the bank was a community development financial institution that focused on lending to churches, nonprofits and small businesses.

Bryant’s first project at Republic will involve managing a $3 million Community Loan Fund aimed at supporting small businesses in “economically challenged” communities, the company said.

“We’re stepping forward to help meet the needs of members of our community who have struggled because of inequity and inadequate access to financial capital,” Chairman and CEO Steve Trager said in the release. Bryant’s hiring “adds deep banking leadership experience in community-focused services to our already strong executive team."

Republic's Community Loan Fund will lend up to $50,000 to disadvantaged businesses. It will initially focus on the Louisville area before expanding to other markets.

Bryant will also oversee Republic’s small-business lending. Republic has been an active Paycheck Protection Program lender, originating 3,700 loans for $520 million.

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Community banking Small business lending SBA Under-served populations