“I think it’s a great time to start a bank,” insists
Inverso, a director and organizer of the Consumer First Bank, N.A. (in organization), believes the current banking climate is ideal for a brand new consumer-oriented community bank.
Hudson, who has 30 years in banking under his belt, offers a historical perspective to what is happening in the industry today. “What we are seeing is a fundamental shift in the community bank model,” he explains. “In the old days you got some investors together to get a bank chartered with the goal of taking advantage of consolidations. But that model does not hold water any more. What we’re seeing in the financial markets is a meltdown. Depositors are fleeing to larger banks because they see safety there.
“It’s only going to get harder to compete with the super big banks,”
Inverso doesn’t appear to be at all spooked by the recent bank failures and resulting bailouts and buyouts. In fact, he is bullish on community banking and says he and his fellow investors have found a niche.
“Our business plan isn’t dependent upon commercial lending,” Inverso says. “We are looking at a long-term venture, long-term sustainability. Recent events have given us something to address. We are starting with a clean balance sheet and assets supported by realistic market values. We are not going to try to blast the top 10 percent of wealth initially to increase our balance. We are targeting the everyday customer and will be promoting long-term banking relationships. We’ll be open seven days a week and we’ll provide additional incentives to work with our bank. We are even going to issue shares to each customer who qualifies. People have to bank, and we see ourselves catering to a group that is underserved. Our focus is on service and that is how we are going to compete with the mega-banks.”