Second group aims to form de novo bank in Arizona

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Another group is hoping to start a community bank in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Organizers of Gainey Business Bank have received approval from the Arizona Department of Financial Institutions to start raising capital while they complete a charter application.

The group is aiming to raise $11 million to $13 million, according to its website.

Jim Unruh, the proposed vice chairman of Gainey Business Bank, said the de novo would focus on small and midsize businesses around Scottsdale. Organizers started planning the new bank over a year ago. Unruh said they expect to open for business in the first quarter.

Unruh, who runs Alerion Capital Group, a boutique private equity firm, said he was motivated to join the effort for three reasons: to make a return on his investment, spur economic development in Scottsdale and offer a better customer service experience. Unruh added that he was disillusioned by bigger banks after one of them closed Alerion’s accounts without warning, citing a policy change.

Gainey Business Bank is raising capital while actively searching for a CEO, Unruh said. Ed Johnson, president of University Growth Solutions, is set to become the bank's chairman.

Arizona is slowly beginning to get interest from bank organizers, in part because of a state law that lets groups sell stock without having a specific location or president in place.

Organizers of Scottsdale Community Bank have also received preliminary approval. The group is looking to raise at least $16 million in initial capital.

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