Virginia to open first new bank since financial crisis

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Organizers of the proposed Trustar Bank have received regulatory approval to open.

The group said in a press release Monday that the bank will open in Great Falls, Va., on July 10 after the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. signed off on its application.

Trustar is also planning to open a commercial lending office in McLean, Va. It will be the first new bank to open in Virginia since the financial crisis.

Shaza Andersen, former CEO of WashingtonFirst Bankshares, will have the same title at Trustar. The $2.1 billion-asset WashingtonFirst was sold to Sandy Spring Bancorp in Olney, Md., last year.

Andersen recruited several former WashingtonFirst executives to join the effort, including Matthew Johnson, the bank’s former chief financial officer; Michael Amin, former senior vice president of operations; and Karen Laughlin, WashingtonFirst’s head of human resources. The executives would have similar roles at Trustar.

The bank is on pace to open by an informal deadline Andersen set months ago.

“WashingtonFirst was the last bank I opened, all by myself, so it took twice as long," she said in an interview. "This time around, I had a wonderful management team that started helping me in January. We went through regulatory applications and raising capital together."

Trustar had to raise $35 million; it ended up bringing in $55 million.

The bank will have 15 full-time employees when it opens, including three loan officers.

Trustar plans to serve small and midsize businesses, those with revenue of $1 million to $50 million. The business plan will be similar to WashingtonFirst’s approach. Trustar will build branches over time, though they may be smaller than traditional locations.

“We’re absolutely filling the void that has come with the consolidation of community banks. We’re filling the void for small to large business owners to have a bank relationship,” Andersen said.

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