June 25, 2022
Locality Bank in Fort Lauderdale stands out for being a rare bank startup

Photo: Locality Bank

Co-founders Corey LeBlanc, Keith Costello and Drew Saito (from left) plan to focus Locality Bank on commercial lending, SBA lending and small-and-medium-sized businesses.

Economic Backbone: Banking

Locality Bank in Fort Lauderdale stands out for being a rare bank startup

Locality Bank founders see an opening in the market.

Mike Vogel | 4/20/2022

From 2000 until the financial crisis in 2009, Florida saw the creation of 133 banks — de novos — second only to California, according to data analysis company Banking Strategist. In the years following the meltdown, Florida led the nation in de novo creations — but with a grand total of only 11.

Among the newcomers is Locality Bank, which opened in a shared workspace in Fort Lauderdale in January and online and by mobile app.

Co-founder Keith Costello says that five years ago, 11 community banks were based in Broward. Acquisitions cut the number to two. (Rising regulatory compliance costs thanks to the federal Dodd-Frank legislation made adequate returns hard to come by for investors in small banks.)

Costello, former CEO of Orlando-based First Green Bank, and his cofounders, CTO and COO Corey LeBlanc and chief lender Drew Saito, believed demand remained for a local community bank. Broward has $111 billion in GDP, 2 million people and $70 billion in deposits. “There are states that don’t have those numbers,” Costello says.

Locality will focus on commercial lending, SBA lending and small- and medium-sized businesses. For its online platform, it relies on Nymbus, a fintech provider started in Miami that announced a move to Jacksonville last year to be near major investor and customer VyStar Credit Union. Nymbus received government incentives from Jacksonville in return for a pledge to hire 673.

Locality’s headquarters should be ready this summer. “You have to be a missionary, not a mercenary,” Costello says of starting a bank now. “You have to want to do something that makes a difference.”

Tags: Southeast, Banking & Finance, Economic Backbone, Feature

Florida Business News

Florida Trend Video Pick

Father and daughter physicians talk about their relationship at work
Father and daughter physicians talk about their relationship at work

Father and daughter physicians, Francisco Tudela M.D. and Olga M. Tudela M.D. talk about their professional relationship.

 

Video Picks | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

Ballot Box

Have your summer travel plans changed as a result of inflation?

  • No, the vacation is still on!
  • Yes, it got too expensive to plan!
  • Yes, I'm now doing a staycation
  • Saving up for next year
  • I don't have any summer travel plans
  • Other (Please share your comments in the comment section below)

See Results

Florida Trend Media Company
490 1st Ave S
St Petersburg, FL 33701
727.821.5800

© Copyright 2022 Trend Magazines Inc. All rights reserved.