Charleston, S.C. – Beacon Community Bank (proposed), a South Carolina-chartered bank in organization headquartered in Charleston, is preparing its launch with a long-term vision of serving the greater Charleston community.
The thriving Charleston market is one of the best in the country for establishing a new community bank, especially with the void left behind by a wave of industry consolidation. A decade has passed since a new bank started in Charleston. Since that time, the number of locally-based small community banks (with assets under $1 billion) has dropped from seven to just one.
The strength of a true community bank lies in its ability to serve a specific segment of the market, including entrepreneurs, small businesses, real estate developers with smaller projects, and individuals that value more relationship-oriented financial expertise. Currently, the needs of this market segment are underserved by larger banks.
Tommy Baker, who served on the Board of Directors for Southcoast Community Bank, recognized the need for a local community bank after the sale of Southcoast in 2016. Since then, Mr. Baker has worked to assemble a team of experienced executives and directors. “I am excited to team up with such a high-caliber group of people from this community who share the same vision for service,” Baker states. He adds, “We are creating a bank that delivers world class service and absorbs today’s technology.”
Brooks Melton will serve as the bank’s Chief Executive Officer. He has 22 years of diverse banking experience, including 11 years in Charleston. Melton is joined by Clay Heslop, former Chief Financial Officer for Southcoast Community Bank; and Craig Johnson, former head of operations for Southcoast Community Bank. “Beacon will be relationship-oriented and ultra-responsive with genuine local decision making,” explains Melton. “Our board is comprised of leaders who are very active in the Charleston community.”
“We are thrilled to announce the formation of the first new Charleston-area community bank in more than 10 years: one in which the focus will be on the customer’s needs,” says Bill Hall, an organizer of the proposed bank. “Business owners want impeccable, personable services delivered quickly to grow their business in this remarkable Charleston economy. Whether it is a piece of equipment, real estate, or construction, Beacon Community Bank will be tailored to their needs.”
The organizers recently formed CDBG, LLC to facilitate the organization of Beacon Community Bank (proposed). The proposed bank will be funded by private investors and will require approvals for a bank charter from the South Carolina Board of Financial Institutions and for deposit insurance from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. It expects to be fully operating in the fourth quarter of 2017