A third group is looking to form a de novo bank in North Carolina.

Organizers led by veteran banker Skip Brown are looking to open Community Bank of the Carolinas in Winston-Salem, N.C., by the end of this year.

“We believe it’s a perfect time to get back in,” Brown, who would serve as the bank’s CEO, said in an interview.

“We’ve had a number of consolidations that eliminated community banks in Forsyth County and adjoining counties,” he added. “Economically, the whole nation is starting to feel positive again. The unemployment rate is low and small business customers need a place to go. … We’re going to fill that need.”

Brown was president and CEO of TriStone Community Bank, which he helped found in 2004. The bank sold in August 2009 to First Community Bancshares in Bluefield, Va.

Brown, who was also a market executive with Bank of America, has been out of banking for several years. He was recently an assistant athletic director at Wake Forest University, where he played college basketball in the 1970s.

James Monroe Jr., set to become the de novo’s chief financial officer, was an executive at Southern Community Financial, a Winston-Salem bank that was sold in 2012 to Capital Bank Financial. (Capital recently sold itself to First Horizon in Memphis, Tenn.)

Organizers plan to raise $25 million to $30 million through a public offering. Brown raised nearly $18 million when he opened TriStone.

“The investment community is excited about this venture,” Brown said.

The group is working on a business plan before it files applications with the North Carolina Office of the Commissioner of Banks and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

FinPro and Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough are advising the group. Community Capital Advisors will be assisting the group with the capital raise.

Only two banks call Winston-Salem home: Regional powerhouse BB&T and Piedmont Federal Savings Bank.

Two other groups are looking to open banks in North Carolina.

Spirit Community Bank recently filed an application to open in Statesville, while another group wants to form a de novo in Monroe, a community just east of Charlotte.

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