Meet the Only New Bank to Open This Year

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Banks by the hundreds have been closing in recent years during the recession and the weak economic recovery. The tough climate has made it difficult for new financial institutions to get off the ground—in fact, only one new federally-insured bank has opened its doors so far in 2010 throughout the entire United States.

And it’s in a used, double-wide trailer.
Lakeside Bank in Lake Charles, Louisiana, which opened on July 26, is run by Hartie Spence, a former Louisiana State football player who came out of retirement at age 70. He was brought in by a local real estate developer, Andrew Vanchieve, who raised $13 million in capital to start the bank.
The bank’s investors hope Lakeside does not go the way of the 280 small banks and thrifts that have gone out of business since January 2008. There are now less than half as many banks and thrifts as there were in 1984. Lately, the Lake Charles economy has been boosted by a casino, a new factory that makes parts for nuclear reactors, and the oil and natural gas industries.
-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky
In Hard Times, One New Bank (Double-Wide) (by Andrew Martin, New York Times)


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