The Up and Coming: New Banks of 2019

Published by Becky Prime on

It’s likely that over the last few months, everywhere you’ve turned ‘de novo’ is popping up – and rightly so, for it refers to the new bank charters, and they my friends, are big news. 

De Novo, the term du jour (that’s ‘the new’ term ‘of the day’ to you non-french linguists!), is certainly making waves within Financial Services.

If you’re looking for a sign, some divine signal that you’re looking at a healthy market for your clients, you need look no further than the presence of a de novo bank cropping up to signal growth potential and economic opportunity. Here at Talent Ticker we’ve taken a look at some of those that have popped up this year and that could offer you a foot in the door at a potential money-mine.


Watermark Bank

Watermark Bank was the first locally owned and newly chartered bank in a decade to open their doors in mid-January of 2019. The bank, located in Oklahoma City, are led by Matt Pollock as President and CEO, Gary McClanahan as Chief Financial Officer, and Scott Mueller as Chairman. Having applied to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) with the intention of raising $20 million in startup capital, they actually managed to exceed the target by $5 million – and were off to a good start already. With the intention of starting from scratch, building themselves around modern technology and an ethos that is based in personalisation, this bank is focussing on businesses and family offices, with aspirations to help fellow entrepreneurs.


Gulfside Bank

Full-service community bank, Gulfside Bank, located in downtown Saratosa, Florida, was another de novo that comfortably surpassed its funding goal of $20 million. Okay, so this one actually launched at the tail-end of 2018, but 2019 has already seen it make steps towards future growth. President and CEO, Dennis Murphy, along with Thomas Martin and Jeff Saunders who serve as the bank’s Executive Vice President, Senior Lending Officer and Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer respectively, bring decades of banking experience that are already facilitating a positive environment for their operations and staff to thrive off. 



Despite being authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as an e-money institution, dozens (or ‘Dozens’ if you catch them on one of their selective good days), is not actually a bank… But they are worthy contenders for this list as they’re looking like they’ll be one of the big fish before you know it. At the end of 2018, the London-based outfit reported a 2,000 person strong wait-list and now have over 10,000 customers. Now offering a range of financial products including a current account, cash savings, and investment products and services, they have also just announced plans to develop a business banking app. Headed up by HSBC veteran, Founder and CEO Aritra Chakravarty, the startup already has an impressive team behind them, despite being a relative youngster. And with their current growth trajectory, we only see this company going, and growing, up. Company ethos is all about making the world of finance fairer and more accessible for the everyman, and as they do that they’re focussing on community and being the best they can be.


Mi Bank

As the first de novo bank in Michigan in a decade, Mi Bank, based in Bloomfield Township, focusses on serving the financial needs of mid-size and commercial businesses. By combining the traditions of community banking with the specialised capabilities that businesses require, Mi Bank is looking to fill a gap in the Michigan market. Mi Bank is one of the more recently opened banks, but having launched at the end of May after raising $30 million they’re on course for some pretty impressive growth already. Going one step further than many of their de novo peers, they have also already announced a partnership with leading fintech firm, Fiserv. Now with some tailor-made tech, they’re continuing to improve services and further develop their capabilities  – and if they continue this trend, they’ll be set to make some pretty big banking waves. In a recent interview Chairman and CEO, Rob Farr, stated the bank’s short-term goal is to break-even within two years, and their “longer-term goal is to grow organically and get to $1 billion by 2030”.


Grasshopper Bank N.A.

New York City-based Grasshopper Bank N.A is arguably carving out their own path. Lending to high growth entrepreneurial companies focused exclusively on the technology space, Grasshopper’s niche is based in the underserved SME market – and the bank is aiming at disrupter status. Having raised a staggering $131 million in their private placement offerings, Grasshopper is another who are already looking to upgrade their technology and digital banking capabilities. Integrating with Temenos’ cloud-native, cloud-agnostic platform, the bank are definitely looking to the future and have given themselves the cutting-edge framework they’ll need as they look to scale. The software will also support multi-country expansion and multi-currency operations – you heard it here first, these guys are going places.


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