When it comes to banking, you have a lot of options as a business owner. Novo, a Miami-based emerging star, Brex, NorthOne, Juni, and a slew of other neobanks are among your alternatives.
Locality Bank, situated in Fort Lauderdale and which just debuted today, makes the argument for banking locally. Locality Bank’s COO and CTO, Corey LeBlanc, told Refresh Miami that “the modernization of banking needs to start at the community level, where there is a unique and concentrated focus on the genuine problems individuals confront.” “After that, it’s a matter of adapting technology as a tool to address those issues.”
Locality Bank, unlike many challenger banks, is a “real bank,” according to LeBlanc. That is to say, Locality Bank has obtained a state charter as well as FDIC clearance. This is in contrast to certain startup banks, which use a regular bank’s technology and charter.
This independence, according to LeBlanc, allows Locality Bank more control over their technical stack and service costs. Finally, he claimed that this allows Locality Bank to better serve its customers. “At the end of the day, we want to be able to look across the table, whether online or in person, and tell clients, ‘We can help you,’ and know that we can do so in the manner that we promise.”
What sets Locality Bank apart from other community banks that offer internet services? “Everything is being built digitally from the ground up,” LeBlanc stated. “We’re putting together the backend technology and architecture so that we can iterate quickly.” According to LeBlanc, consumers profit since they receive better services at a lesser price than competitors.
LeBlanc, who is originally from Louisiana, is looking forward to working with businesses in Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties. He described the market as “wonderful.” “It’s one of the fastest-growing areas in the country.” Locality Bank’s 12-person team, according to LeBlanc, has decades of experience operating in the South Florida market. Drew Saito, the Chief Lending Officer of Locality Bank, is a native of Fort Lauderdale.
“The enormous demand for our stock is a reinforcement of our view that South Florida needs community based financial institutions,” said Locality Bank CEO Keith Costello, who was previously President and CEO of the Broward Bank of Commerce. While Broward County has a large number of banks, just two are based here. We will be the first community bank to open in South Florida in 10+ years on January 12th, the same day we founded Broward Bank of Commerce in 2009.”
Locality Bank has piqued the curiosity of investors. The organization had hoped to raise $23 million last year, but ended up raising $35 million. “We worked with local investors we know and got a fantastic reaction,” LeBlanc added.
According to LeBlanc, today’s launch is an MVP. For the time being, account creation is restricted to a small set of early stage testers who will work out any issues. “However, the goal is to get as many of our consumers as possible to use it.” Locality Bank promises to offer a variety of services in addition to commercial banking, such as commercial real estate loans, Small Company Administration lending, and deposit and business treasury services.
Locality Bank is temporarily based at General Provision, a Fort Lauderdale co-working facility. They are, however, remodeling their headquarters at 1400 South Andrews Avenue in Fort Lauderdale, where they plan to relocate this summer. For the time being, potential business customers can join the queue by going to LocalityBank.com.