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Holding on to Hope: DC Power Couple Marc and Shaza Andersen Sit Down to Discuss What Hope Means to Them
July 20, 2020
Hope Through The Pandemic- Modern Luxury DC Magazine
As individuals that have worked through challenging situations both professionally and personally– what advice would you give our community today?
The pandemic has served as a reminder of how fragile our day-to-day is and has also reinforced the value of human life. It’s important to take time to recognize the opportunity we have to emerge from this a stronger community and nation. Life is about how we respond to challenges. Periods of struggle drive periods of innovation and change. It’s also important to get comfortable with the fact that as we defeat this current challenge, another will come.
We are reminded of American Clergyman Phillip Brooks quote “Pray not for easier times. Pray for stronger men. Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks. Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle, but you shall be the miracle.” We need each other now more than ever to be that miracle and we are confident that we’ll pull though and emerge stronger together.
This issue is centered around hope– what brings you hope for the future?
As a family we are grounded in our faith, family and community and each give us hope and confidence for our future. Overcoming the pandemic requires a combination of the strength of our faith and the bond of our families and community to serve one another. Greater Washington is a special place and we remain confident in our ability to leverage our talent and resources to succeed.
The courage and resilience of the American People also gives us great confidence and hope. As we’ve seen from prior periods of struggle, we can be at our best when our backs are against the wall. We are also confident that the unprecedented strength and health of our economy going into this pandemic will provide a strong platform for an accelerated economic recovery. We can also find hope and confidence in our future through the next generation of leaders. In 2019 Marc was appointed by President Trump to serve on the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars. The Commission recently selected the 2020 Scholars class who serve as an example of the incredible talent in our country that is passionate about making a difference for all Americans.
What philanthropic endeavors are you involved in and how has that shaped your view of the world?
We support and invest in organizations and people that focus on children’s health and wellness, promote education and also advocate for veteran and military spouse employment and entrepreneurship. We support the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation, The Inova Health Foundation, Washington Tennis Education Foundation, Headstrong, The Artists and Athletes Alliance, BourBiz, Flags of Valor, and Hire Military to name a few. Shaza started the Trustar Youth Foundation and Marc serves on the Board. We are focused on supporting the vision of helping children realize their maximum potential regardless of the challenges they may face. We have always believed that we weren’t born for ourselves. In that context, having been intimately involved in many organizations who are the lifeline to those underserved by society, we have come to deeply appreciate the critical importance of philanthropy versus charity. Charity tends to be transactional, while philanthropy is often the reflection of of an emotional connection and sustained commitment to those we are helping.
What do you think is important for us all to remember during these difficult days?
We’ll get through this. While the other side may look and feel different than our lives before the pandemic, keep in mind that it’s also an opportunity. Use this time to develop a new skill and prepare yourself for the innovation that is coming. Our family is spending time together learning a new language, and yes there’s an app for that.
Also– be kind. Kindness matters and there are opportunities every day to be kind. Check-in on a neighbor, help out with groceries for a friend or relative. Mentor and leverage your network for folks searching for a new job. Many families with young children are struggling with schools and summer camps closing, step-in and find a way to help out. And remember to smile.
What inspires you and gives you hope?
Our family, friends, and community inspire us. We’ve also had the great fortune to meet and work with incredible people all around the world and appreciate the difference that people can make together in solving problems and changing lives. We are incredibly motivated and inspired by folks getting up every day working hard to make it happen and think of Roosevelt’s man in the arena; “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how strong the man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, who’s face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory or defeat.”
It’s that American resilience and tenacity, the backbone of our country, that gives us such hope and confidence for the future.
Trustar Bank has continued to grow through the pandemic, delivering $75M in PPP loans
Jun 26, 2020, 2:39 pm EDT
Trustar Bank has had an eventful first year, to say the least.
The Great Falls bank officially opened its doors July 8, 2019, and now has three branches, having just opened one in Reston on June 22. It has grown to 30 employees and $240 million in assets as of May 31. It also delivered about $75 million across 350 forgivable loans under the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, as businesses grappled with the economic fallout the Covid-19 crisis.
The bank’s small staff worked overtime — without being asked — to process the applications as new customers came through the bank’s virtual doors, unable to get loans from their existing banks, said CEO and founder Shaza Andersen.
“I feel blessed that even through the worst of the epidemic that the entire world has been experiencing, our bank has continued to grow and do well,” said Andersen, who had also founded WashingtonFirst Bank, growing it to $2 billion in assets before its $447 million sale to Sandy Spring Bank in early 2018.
Andersen said the bank plans to get to $300 million in assets by the end of 2020.
The pace of growth is much faster than Andersen’s first attempt, she said, which she credited to former customers turning to the small community bank and new customers tired of dealing with larger banks after yearslong consolidation in the industry. The bank rapidly crossed the $100 million asset threshold in in the third quarter of 2019.
“We were pleasantly surprised at the beginning how fast we were able to get our charter and how fast we are able to grow our bank,” Andersen said. “I think they came back a little faster than we had expected.”
The new Reston branch joins existing locations in Tysons and Great Falls. Andersen does not expect to expand that network until 2021, when it will slowly expand into other submarkets across the D.C. metro area, Andersen said.
The bank has slowed its own pipeline of new business, in part from the PPP, Andersen said. Businesses are now beginning to figure out their next steps, and so is Trustar, she added.
Trustar Bank Announces New Branch Location in Reston, VA
9 ways financial organizations are aiding battle against coronavirus
May 1, 2020- By Allissa Kline
From the start of the novel coronavirus crisis, it became clear that banks had major challenges on their hands yet a real opportunity.
The pandemic dealt a swift blow to public health and economic livelihood, driving many customers (consumers and business owners) into desperate situations and making it harder for bank employees to do their jobs.
Banks insisted that they were not the cause of the financial meltdown this time (unlike a decade ago), that they were highly capitalized by historical standards and that they could help. They obviously realized they had an opportunity to redeem themselves after a decade of withering criticism from politicians, protestors and academics following the Great Recession.
The jury is still out on whether banks have seized the moment. The headlines have not been kind, raising questions about whether lenders dispensing federal aid favored their clients, especially large ones with other means of raising money, over the neediest small businesses. Banking industry officials have been quick to complain about emergency-loan programs and to demand regulatory rollbacks.
However, this cardshow is about the other side of the moral ledger — very creative efforts by banks of all sizes, and nonprofits that work with them, to help clients and the broader public fight for survival amid the pandemic. A community bank in Virginia has steered a portion of fees earned from the Paycheck Protection Program to help medical workers and the hungry; the nonprofit Operation Hope is hiring financial counselors in anticipation of “getting slammed” with requests for advice from the newly unemployed; and CIT Group has helped customers retrofit their businesses to produce personal protective gear for those on the front lines of the crisis.
Here are nine examples of outside-the-box thinking and resourcefulness that could make a positive difference in the country’s time of need.
Trustar redirects some PPP fee income to health care, feeding the hungry
Founder and CEO Shaza Andersen said employees of Trustar Bank in Great Falls, Va., wanted to help out with the coronavirus crisis response. They hit on a different approach, donating a tenth of the fee income the $132 million-asset Trustar earns from its participation in the Paycheck Protection Program to two Washington-area service organizations.
Trustar, a de novo that opened in July, is supporting Inova Health Foundation, which funds medical care and health education, and Washington Nationals Philanthropies, which has focused on combating hunger. “We’re addressing the medical side and the human side of the crisis,” Andersen said.
“There’s a lot of need out there,” Andersen added.
The PPP was created to give small businesses with 500 or fewer employees the means to continue paying workers while the economy is largely idled by the pandemic. Trustar made more than 200 loans to local businesses during the program’s first phase, from April 3 to April 16. The bank picked up where it left off Monday, when the paycheck program resumed. Trustar’s loan count had reached 350 Tuesday afternoon, Andersen said.
“We were here until 2 a.m. working on applications,” Andersen said.
The Small Business Administration, which is managing the PPP, pays a fee for each loan lenders originate, so as Trustar’s loan count ticks up, the funds earmarked for Inova and the Nationals grow.
According to Andersen, “there’s no science” behind the 10% figure in Trustar’s pledge. “We felt 10% was sizable and makes a difference,” she said. — John Reosti
Continue reading the article on AmericanBanker.com
Trustar Bank Donates Portion of SBA Paycheck Protection Program Fees to Local Organizations
April 27, 2020– GREAT FALLS, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–As a registered lender with the Small Business Administration (SBA), Trustar Bank has utilized the SBA’s CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to provide capital to small businesses, helping them meet their ongoing short-term expenses. The CARES Act, which was signed into law on March 27, 2020, provides banks with an opportunity to assist businesses in need.
In the span of just one week, Trustar Bank has provided over 200 loans to local businesses struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a community bank, Trustar takes great pride in supporting local organizations and important causes. The Bank is happy to announce that they will be donating 10% of PPP processing fees to local organizations, such as the Inova Health Foundation and Washington Nationals Philanthropies. Through efforts like this, Trustar Bank hopes to provide a bit of extra relief to those struggling during these difficult economic times.
“We felt privileged to participate in the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), support the stabilization of the US Economy and help working families in Greater Washington. As a community bank, Trustar Bank understands and values the role that community banks play across this great country,” said Trustar Bank CEO, Shaza Andersen, “To help even further, we are donating 10% of our loan fees from the PPP Program to Inova Health Foundation and the Washington Nationals Philanthropies. It is important to us to serve as strong stewards of our community and invest in programs and people that are committed to making our community healthier, safer and stronger.”
If you would like more information about the Paycheck Protection Program, please visit Trustar Bank’s website at www.trustarbank.com. The Bank’s dedicated PPP Rapid Response Team is ready to assist businesses with any questions they may have.
About the Bank – Trustar Bank is a full-service bank offering comprehensive banking products and services to small- and medium-sized businesses and consumers. It is the first bank to be chartered and opened in Virginia in over a decade. For more information, please visit Trustar Bank online at trustarbank.com.
Local bank to donate portion of its SBA PPP fees to charity
Apr 27, 2020, 12:41pm EDT
Great Falls-based Trustar Bank is donating a portion of the fees it received through the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program to charity.
“We felt privileged to participate in the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program, support the stabilization of the U.S. economy and help working families in Greater Washington,” CEO and founder Shaza Andersen said in a statement to the Washington Business Journal.
The bank will take 10% of its fees generated through the program and give it to the Inova Health Foundation and Washington Nationals Philanthropies, the charitable arms of the Falls Church health system and local MLB team, respectively. Andersen is a board member of the Inova Health Foundation.
Banks receive a fee for each loan processed, based on the size of the loan, under the popular — albeit rocky — SBA forgivable loan program. Trustar Bank said it had processed more than 200 such loans so far.
“It is important to us to serve as strong stewards of our community and invest in programs and people that are committed to making our community healthier, safer and stronger,” Andersen said.
Trustar Bank officially opened its doors this past July and quickly grew to more than $100 million in assets, while also ending the more than 10-year drought on new banks created in the region. It reported about $132 million in assets at the end of 2019. Andersen started up the venture after leading Reston-based WashingtonFirst Bank for 14 years and, ultimately, selling it to Sandy Spring Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ: SASR) for about $447 million.
“We are really, truly grateful to our community partners like Trustar Bank for coming forward to support their local health system and frontline heroes during this time,” said Sage Bolte, chief philanthropy officer and president of the Inova Health Foundation. “Shaza Andersen has been on the Inova Foundation board and is one of those people that just really tries so hard in incredible ways to do good in the community, and this is just another way.”
Your bank not offering PPP loans? Here are some local banks accepting new customers for the relief program.
The race to apply — and hopefully get approved — for the Small Business Administration’s $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program continues. While some are reporting thy have been approved for the relief program, other small businesses are scrambling to find a bank that will accept their applications.
Many banks require customers have an existing account or business relationship to apply, while others, such as McLean-based Capital One Financial Corp. (NYSE: COF), still haven’t begun accepting applications. And experts agree the first batch of funding is likely to run out, while Congress is at odds over what measures should be included alongside additional funding.
While the agency is not providing official updates, the SBA has authorized 724,000 loans for about $184 billion, according to an email obtained by the Baltimore Business Journal, or more than halfway through the funding currently available.
There are also a number of tips small businesses can employ when applying for their PPP loans, in order to reduce issues and processing time.
But for small businesses left in the lurch, there are local banks accepting new customers, including:
-United Bankshares Inc. (NASDAQ: UBSI), the parent company of United Bank. The regional bank, headquartered locally in McLean, has assets near $20 billion and about 138 branches across Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and D.C.
-Southern National Bancorp of Virginia Inc. (NASDAQ: SONA), the parent company of McLean-based Sonabank. Dennis Zember, the bank’s new CEO, said it was receiving inquires about SBA programs from several states away. The bank recently transitioned to new leadership amid an executive reshuffle, and the planned departure of its founders.
–Old Dominion National Bank, a Vienna-based bank that recently absorbed new-bank effort VisionBank’s founders and raised a new round of funding, said it was accepting new PPP customers alongside a new deposit relationship.
–Chain Bridge Bank in McLean also confirmed it was servicing existing clients and taking on new ones for PPP loans.
-Rockville-based Capital Bank said it was flooded with applications in part because it was accepting new customers. The bank has to be more deliberate with new customers as it does its own due diligence, said CEO Ed Barry
-Fairfax’s MainStreet Bancshares Inc. (NASDAQ: MNSB), the parent company of MainStreet Bank, is accepting new customers and has processed about 500 of its businesses so far. CEO Jeff Dick said small businesses need to move their deposits to the bank in order to apply and get their PPP loans processed.
-D.C.-based National Capital Bank is also accepting PPP applications from new clients who are prepared to establish a deposit relationship, said CEO Richard Anderson.
-Fairfax-Based Freedom Bank is also taking on new clients, according to its CEO Joe Thomas, who said in an email that the bank was “working with both clients and prospects in order to best serve the great DC business community and the entrepreneurs who are so vital to ongoing economic growth in the region during this national emergency.”
Mason Alumni Power Couple Committed to Serving Community
Written by Katherine Johnson Dias, George Mason School of Business, on April 13th, 2020.
Since attending and graduating from George Mason University, Marc and Shaza Andersen have embedded themselves in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. From establishing careers, marrying, and starting a family, to giving back, the Andersens have achieved several milestones in the region. They are two dedicated community business leaders who recognize the values and impact of the School of Business.
The Andersens serve on the School of Business Dean’s Advisory Council, with Marc also sitting on the Center for Government Contracting Advisory Board, which he helped start.
Most recently, Shaza, BA Area Studies ’89, launched Trustar Bank in July 2019, serving as chief executive officer and founder. Trustar Bank is the first community bank to be chartered in Virginia in more than 10 years.
“With all of the bank consolidations in our marketplace, there was a demand for a new community bank,” she says. The response has been overwhelming.
Shaza says that both this demand and having a proven team of leaders from her previous job allowed the process to move quickly. “Our regulators were great in working with us, and many knew us from the past. That made a big difference,” she says.
Previously, Shaza served as vice chair of the board of Sandy Spring Bank and was founder and CEO of WashingtonFirst Bank. She says the team looks forward to growing the bank by delivering superior service and strong returns to shareholders.
Marc, BA Economics ’90, has spent more than 17 years with Ernst & Young LLP (EY). He currently serves as a senior global client service partner advising global technology, public sector, consumer products, and banking and capital market clients. He also served in strategy, public policy, and market leadership roles, to include creating EY’s U.S. federal consulting business.
He has dedicated most of his career to EY because of the people and culture. “EY provides an incredible platform to create and build businesses, grow and develop people, and serve clients globally. It’s fun,” he says.
Marc is passionate about innovation and entrepreneurship, the “key ingredients for driving meaningful change and growth.”
“It’s about understanding what’s possible and then the impact you can make. I’m passionate about bringing the best of the private and public sectors together to solve complex problems by driving innovation and investing in entrepreneurship,” he says.
Marc also enjoys mentoring and investing in professional development opportunities for military and veterans as they transition to the private sector.
“We are both committed to doing what we can to help make a difference and to have an impact. Mason has come a long way since we graduated, due in part to alumni and friends staying active and committed to the university’s success,” they say. “From a community perspective, we recognize an opportunity and responsibility to make a difference where we can in the areas that matter most to us: youth, education, and entrepreneurship.”
As board members they recognize the advantages of a Mason business degree and future industry success.
“A degree from Mason’s School of Business sets students apart in what it communicates. The business school does a great job in preparing students to enter the workforce. In addition, as many students work while attending school, it also communicates the ability of Mason students to meet the many demands required to be a successful professional,” say the Andersens.
They encourage students to work hard and make the most of their education and professional development opportunities.
“Understand that success and your career are something that you need to consistently invest in over time. Take risks and do something that you are passionate about and take the time to invest in others and in our community.”
The Andersens look forward to the future and doing more of what they’re passionate about—building their businesses, investing in the community, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.
Marc and Shaza Andersen: The DC Power Couple Have Had a Dramatic Impact on Children’s Lives
Years ago, when Marc and Shaza Andersen met at George Mason University, they began a relationship that would impact the lives of thousands of Washingtonians. “Despite many options to move to other parts of the United States and the world, we’ve never thought twice about leaving,” says Marc, who is the senior global client service partner at EY. “We love Greater Washington. The people, the community, and the opportunities are unlike any other.” The couple has been laser-focused about one thing: Some children in our area need a big assist with health and wellness (they also have a soft spot for veteran and military spouse employment and entrepreneurship). Shaza, who’s the founder and CEO of Trustar Bank, launched the Trustar Youth Foundation (www.trustaryouthfoundation.org), which awards grants and scholarships to organizations dedicated to the betterment of children– whether it’s funding research for the treatment or cure of illnesses that affect youth or providing tuition assistance so kids cans reach their maximum potential. Marc also helped Redskins owner, Dan Snyder, and his wife, Tanya, start the Redskins Charitable Foundation. “We both strongly believe that we were not born for ourselves,” says Marc who was appointed to the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars. “Our work in the community is driven on that belief, and we see how engaged philanthropy is a two-way street. We strive to make a difference in the lives of others, but we are blessed to also be the recipients of what our work returns to us in terms of personal growth and life experiences.”
De Novo Activity Fell in 2019 Despite FDIC Plea
The decrease in de novo activity came despite an open plea from FDIC Chairwoman Jelena McWilliams in December 2018 for more effort to open new banks.
“With 14 million American adults without a bank account, we want to see more banks, not fewer,” she wrote in an American Banker op-ed, noting the disappearance of small banks in particular. “Today, 627 counties are only served by community banking offices, 122 counties have only one banking office, and 33 counties have no banking offices at all.”
A November 2019 report by another regulator, the Federal Reserve, reinforced McWilliams’s concerns, highlighting 44 counties — the vast majority rural — that had been “deeply affected” by the closure of more than half of their bank branches between 2012 and 2017.
For its part, the Bank of St. George said it would become, upon opening, the “only locally-headquartered bank” in a community the Census Bureau cited among the nation’s fastest-growing. The bank is Utah’s first de novo since 2007.
And the executives launching it are veterans of the area. That’s a formula that worked well for another of 2019’s de novos, Great Falls, Virginia-based Trustar Bank. CEO Shaza Andersen rolled out Trustar in July after running WashingtonFirst Bank from 2004 until it was acquired by Sandy Spring Bank in 2018.
Similarly, the Bank of St. George’s CEO, Bruce Jensen, and its president and chief credit officer, West Martin, started and managed Town & Country Bank in St. George from 2008 until it merged with People’s Intermountain Bank in 2017.
Regulatory approval doesn’t guarantee smooth sailing for a de novo. Three of the 15 proposed banks the FDIC approved in 2018 — Community Bank of the Carolinas, Spirit Community Bank and Tarpon Coast Bank — did not open, according to American Banker. Similarly, Silver River Community Bank in Ocala, Fla., which the FDIC approved in 2019, will not open, the agency said.
In other cases, executive turnover can throw a proposed bank into uncertainty. The FDIC conditionally approved Washington-based MOXY Bank in January 2019. But in August, MOXY’s CEO, Casey Mauldin, left to become chief lending officer at another de novo in the region, NXG Bank. MOXY’s application was still progressing, Mauldin said at the time, but it has just weeks to open under its conditional approval, American Banker reported.
McWilliams’s comments came in confluence with a public comment period and a nationwide outreach initiative to spur de novo activity. But capital requirements, which are higher than they were before the 2007-08 financial crisis, remain a primary hurdle for proposed banks, as competition for investor funds is fierce.
Dan Hudson, CEO of NuBank, which helps groups form banks, said some organizers are deluded into thinking that simply filing to open a bank will bring in investors. Or that a bank can open with a select handful of investors.
“This is not a ‘build it and they will come’ value proposition,” Hudson told American Banker in September. “You need an army to launch a de novo today.”
The Number of Local Banks Continues to Dwindle. Experts Say It Won't Stop Anytime Soon.
Trustar Bank CEO and founder Shaza Andersen was grateful and energized when the Great Falls-based bank reached $100 million in assets in just a few months — it took her previous bank WashingtonFirst about a year to reach that milestone.
She chalked it up to a strong desire by customers for a smaller bank that offers a more personal touch. But in the D.C. area, an ongoing wave of consolidation means there are fewer such choices for customers, and almost no new banks. Andersen spearheaded the only successful new start so far since FVCBank opened in 2007, more than 12 years ago.
“The more that we can give our customers choices, the better they are, and the more informed about decisions they are making for their businesses,” she said, adding that while she expects consolidation to continue, she hopes to see more people open new banks. “I hope we are able to see more bank openings that could give them choices.“
“We don’t want monopolies out there. We don’t want one bank to control everything,” Andersen added.
But the number of locally headquartered banks continues to dwindle. In 1999, there were 70 banks based in Greater Washington. By 2017, when I first reported on the trend, it was down to just 36. Now that number has fallen to 29, and is guaranteed to further shrink as current deals, such as WesBanco’s (NASDAQ: WSBC) pending purchase of Bowie-based Old Line Bank (NASDAG: OLBK), set to close Friday, and Sandy Spring’s announced acquisition of Revere Bank, are finalized.
The trend mirrors a larger national trend of declining banks, as measured by the number of banks that receive insurance through the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. In 1990 there were 12,343 such banks. There are just 4,630 in 2019 to date, according to the FDIC. The consolidation of banks in some cases has sped up, according to experts I spoke to — and they see no end in sight.
There is no better example of the breakneck speed of some of these acquisitions than the West Virginia-born and now Vienna-based United Bankshares Inc., which has had nearly as many acquisitions as I have had birthdays. United just announced it is acquiring South Carolina-based Carolina Financial, which had already announced its intention to acquire Carolina Trust Bank in a deal that hasn’t even closed yet, forming a veritable Russian nesting doll of financial transactions.
Regulatory costs have long been a factor that contributed to consolidation, but now, there is also increased pressure to invest in technology that makes it more difficult for smaller banks, said Sandy Spring CEO Dan Schrider.
“They hit a point where what they know there will be significant up-front investments,” Schrider said. “That’s when you start looking at strategic alternatives. Do I partner with someone who already has those things in place and then capitalize on that scale?”
He agreed the long-term trend will continue to be fewer banks, even in Greater Washington. While the region has had more attempts to start new banks than most regions in recent years — think VisionBank, Moxy Bank, Founders Bank and the aforementioned Trustar Bank — it has managed to produce only one. That’s because the startup capital needed to start a new bank is much higher than in decades past, Schrider said.
Meanwhile the D.C. market continues to be strong enough to attract banks that are looking to expand, making smaller community banks in the region a tempting acquisition target.
“Often this market is the best market they will have in their own franchise,” Schrider said. “They are coming here because this is stronger than any market that they may have in their existing footprint.”
The trend hasn’t been stifled by the fact that banks are selling for less than they have been in recent years, said Lew Sosnowik, a former banking analyst at Koonce Securities Inc. Banks are still consolidating in order to achieve larger economies of scale and lower costs in an age where low interest rates means there is less room for error, and profit.
Continued low interest rates — and the potential they could go even lower — make it harder to give shareholders the growth and the value they want, Sosnowik said. Those rates also mean even less incentive to start a new bank.
One recent example is Bethesda-based EagleBank, which has started offering a dividend, something that underscores that rapid organic growth is no longer in the cards, he said.
“Banking is going to be dominated by ever fewer and ever larger entities. And that’s where you are going. There’s no way for a small bank to compete, especially in an in an era of giants,” Sosnowik said.
Trustar Bank CEO, Shaza Andersen, Appointed to the FDIC's Advisory Committee on Community Banking
GREAT FALLS, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Shaza Andersen, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Trustar Bank in Great Falls VA, was recently selected to join the FDIC’s Advisory Committee on Community Banking. The committee, which meets several times per year, provides advice and recommendations to the FDIC on a broad range of community bank policy and regulatory matters. The group of 17 banking professionals from across the country were carefully chosen for their expertise on these matters.
One of four new members, Ms. Andersen is looking forward to serving as a resource for the FDIC and providing input on topics of interest for community banks.“I’m thrilled to join the Committee and hope to add some value to the discussions on community bank policy and regulatory matters,” said Ms. Andersen.
Ms. Andersen is a long-time contributor and leader in the local banking community, formerly serving as Vice Chair of the Board of Sandy Spring Bank as well as founder and Chief Executive Officer of WashingtonFirst Bank, before completing its sale to Sandy Spring Bancorp in 2018. In addition, Ms. Andersen founded the WashingtonFirst Youth Foundation (WFYF), a local not-for-profit organization dedicated to enriching the physical, social, and mental well-being of children in the Washington, DC, Metropolitan area. The WFYF is one of several organizations Ms. Andersen donates her time to. Additionally, she has utilized her talents and expertise serving on multiple committees and boards.
A favored and sought-after authority on banking and capital market issues, Ms. Andersen has appeared on CNBC and Fox News, and been featured in Forbes Magazine, the Washington Business Journal, and Washingtonian Magazine. Ms. Andersen has been recognized as a prominent leader and businesswoman in the Washington, DC area through numerous awards and recognitions such as Top 25 Women to Watch, Top 100 Powerful Women, and Most Admired CEO, to name a few.
About the Bank – Trustar Bank is a full-service bank offering comprehensive banking products and services to small- and medium-sized businesses and consumers. It is the first bank to be chartered and opened in Virginia in over a decade. For more information, please visit the Trustar Bank webpage at https://trustarbank.com/.
Residents Welcoming First New Community Banks Since the Recession
In some states, residents are finally getting what they’ve been missing since the financial crisis: a brand new bank.
For Washington D.C., it’s been a long time coming — 20 years.
“Especially in the DC market, there’s very few, I think maybe one or two community banks in DC proper,” says Keith Walters, chief technology officer at MOXY Bank, a mobile-first, minority-owned bank set to open before the end of the year. “The rest are branches of larger banks that through their own branch consolidation have left a void in those communities.”
The industry has been shrinking for more than a decade and many community banks have gradually disappeared. But conditions are ripe for a comeback. Though challenges lie ahead, the newest entrants believe there’s a place for them and customers to serve who aren’t getting their needs for loans, checking or savings accounts met elsewhere.
Long road to recovery
Community banks were devastated by the recession of a decade ago. Georgia was hit particularly hard, says Chris Cole, executive vice president and senior regulatory counsel for the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA). Data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. shows that one in four banks that failed between 2008 and 2009 were based in the Peach State.
“It’s not surprising that state took so long for there to be a recovery and now we’re starting to see de novo (newly chartered) banking,” Cole says. “It just took a lot of time to sort out all the small banks that failed, but the fact that you’re now seeing that shows that the worst is over now and we’re on the up and up now.”
Georgia’s Tandem Bank received FDIC approval back in May. When it opens, it will join Virginia’s Trustar Bank, American Bank & Trust in North Carolina and others making history as the first community banks to appear in their states in at least a decade.
Many of the newest institutions and community banks with pending approval are located along the East Coast, Cole says. Several new banks are in areas experiencing significant growth, like Washington, D.C., and Florida.
Regulators want new banks
Banks like Tandem enter the market at a time when regulators are more open to approving new charters. FDIC Chairman Jelena McWilliams noted the importance of new banks in an op-ed published last December. She also highlighted how low the level of new bank formation has been compared with where it was before the financial crisis.
All the regulators have expressed interest in seeing more de novo banking activity, says Cole from the ICBA. “I think they all recognize that the whole financial services industry needs new entrants and that this exemplifies how healthy the system is.”
Though there’s work to be done in simplifying the process of applying for a new bank charter, Cole says, this is a good time for banks to enter because the economy’s still strong.
Consolidation continues, but it’s starting to slow. And in parts of the country that are growing faster, Cole says, it’s cheaper to start a bank than it is to buy an existing one.
Ready to serve an underserved population
Not all consumers today have a wide variety of banks and products to choose from. In some communities, failures and acquisitions have left families without access to adequate financial services and support.
“Our customers and friends wanted us back,” says Shaza Andersen, chief executive officer for the new Trustar Bank and founder of a community bank acquired last year. “They missed the level of service and the relationships that had been formed through WashingtonFirst, and that in combination with the lack of any new community banks being formed, we saw a need in the market for an alternative.”
The newest banks and those awaiting approval aren’t just showing up to the party empty-handed, however. They have a niche, Cole says, and solutions tailored to solve the problems of their target audience.
MOXY Bank, for example, will serve households across the income spectrum, including unbanked and under-banked families. When it opens, the DC-based institution will offer OnDemand, a low-cost, subscription-based program with no hidden fees or overdraft charges. Services will include early access to direct deposits, a financial wellness and literacy program and a virtual branch for account holders looking to chat with a personal digital banker.
What community banks bring to the table
Community banks may not offer the best savings or CD rates in the nation, but they provide nearly half of the nation’s small business loans.
They also continue to stand out by valuing relationships and offering quality customer service.
“In my opinion, banking is still a people business,” says Lynn David, a community banking consultant. “I know there’s more and more going toward technology, and the fact that you can open an account online without ever having to set foot in a bank. But to me, the long-term relationship still is extremely personal.”
Savvy consumers looking for advanced features and functionalities may be happier with one of the new community banks than with an institution that’s been around for a while. Older community banks often feel limited by legacy platforms that are costly to replace and limit flexibility and customization. That’s a problem the newest banks don’t face.
“Many of them are finding that it is cheaper to be starting new and working with a cloud service provider, for instance, as opposed to being a bank that’s trying to migrate their legacy contracts and their core service data over to a cloud service,” Cole says.
Cole adds that the newest banks will have to raise a lot of capital, however, if they’re hoping to compete with bigger banks with much larger budgets. Hiring the right staff is also key, David says.
“You can’t just rely on the core processor that you select, you still have to have somebody in the day, who is a very, very knowledgeable technology person to help make the decisions that the core processor is going to ask you to make.”
The Region's First New Bank in a Decade Sets Its Opening Date
Great Falls-based Trustar Bank will officially become the first new bank to open its doors in Greater Washington in more than a decade – with an opening scheduled for July 10, according to CEO and found Shaza Andersen.
The official opening comes after the bank received its final Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation approval, the last regulatory hurdle before it starts accepting deposits and offering loans. That makes it the first bank to receive the FDIC green light and open its doors for business since Fairfax-based FVCBank in November 2007.
“I am just thrilled. I have to say that it’s so exciting. I am so looking forward to service our community again,” said Andersen, who had previously founded, grew and sold WashingtonFirst Bank. ” I am looking forward to working with my team again. It’s a great feeling.”
Trustar most recently received approval from Virginia, which also made it the first bank since 2008 to get state consent. Meanwhile, other banks in organization are also working on their own approvals, including Tysons-based VisionBank, which hopes to open its doors in the coming months, D.C.-based Founders Bank started by Bank of Georgetown alums, and District-based Moxy Bank, which recently received its conditional approval from the District.
Andersen has also made some additional hires, including:
Steve Colliatie: A former senior vice president at WashingtonFirst Bank who has also worked at Monument Bank and Sandy Spring Bank. He will be executive vice president of lending.
Bruce Wilmarth: Former senior vice president of lending at Sandy Spring Bank and now the executive vice president of lending at Trustar.
Chris Broad: Former senior vice president of business development at Sandy Spring Bank, with the same role at Trustar.
Doug Haskett: Former chief financial officer at Presidential Bank and now senior vice president of finance at Trustar Bank.
Trustar Bank also plans to open up a commercial lending office at 1650 Tysons Blvd. in McLean, in addition to having signed a letter of intent for a second full branch at The Spectrum At Reston Town Center at 11846 Spectrum Center. Trustar recently closed on more than $50 million in new funding, above the high end of $35 million to $50 million it had originally intended.
The bank has also fleshed out its advisory board, recently adding Ryan Kerrigan, a star outside linebacker for Washington’s NFL team, and former Republican Congresswoman Barbara Comstock, who lost a 2018 bid for re-election in Virginia’s 10th District.
SCC Approves New State-Chartered Bank - Trustar Bank; First New State Bank in a Decade
Richmond – The State Corporation Commission (SCC) has approved Trustar Bank as a state-chartered bank. The Northern Virginia startup bank is the first to be formed under Virginia state banking law since 2008.
Trustar Bank, located in Great Falls, Virginia, becomes the 54th state-chartered bank regulated by the SCC’s Bureau of Financial Institutions. Commissioner of Financial Institutions E. Joseph Face, Jr., says, “Virginia banks are the economic backbones of the communities they serve.” He added, “The formation of a new bank in Virginia is a testament to the strength of our banking sector and regulatory environment. Virginians should be encouraged to see new banks once again being formed in the Commonwealth.”
Under a dual regulatory system, banks have the option to be state-chartered or chartered by Federal banking authorities. Virginia state-chartered banks are subject to regular examinations by the bureau for safety and soundness, consumer protection and local economic growth.
State and federal regulators collaborate to best supervise banks. Federal regulators provide a framework to manage systemic banking issues. State regulators construct supervision based on their local knowledge, authority, and focus.
In evaluating the bank’s charter application received on February 19, 2019, the Commission considered the quality of the bank’s directorate and management team, the adequacy of the proposed capital structure, and whether the public interest would be served by the proposed banking facility.
The Commission’s approval order requires the bank to secure deposit insurance from the Federal Depository Insurance Corporation (FDIC) before opening for business. FDIC insurance covers all types of deposits received at an insured bank. The standard insurance amount is $250,000 per depositor, per insured bank, for each account ownership category.
Trustar Bank Gets Regulatory Nod From Virginia
Trustar Bank has been granted a Virginia banking charter by the Virginia State Corporation Commission, the Great Falls-based bank said.
That means the last hurdle before the bank can officially open its doors is receiving Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. approval for deposit insurance, according to the bank, which is headed by former WashingtonFirst Bank CEO and founder Shaza Andersen.
“We are looking forward to opening our doors in late June or early July, and we are eager to serve this incredible community. The response from the market has been extraordinary, from surpassing our initial capital target to expressions of interest from potential customers eager to do business,” Andersen said in the press release.
The Virginia approval makes Trustar the first bank since 2008 to get approval from the state and comes as other potential banks across the region work to open. They include Tysons-based VisionBank, which hope to open its doors in the coming months, and District-based Moxy Bank, which recently received its conditional approval from the District.
Trustar recently closed on more than $50 million in new funding, above the high end of the $35 million to $50 million it had originally intended. The bank also picked its headquarters and first branch location – 774A Walker Road in Great Falls – and signed a letter of intent for a second branch at The Spectrum At Reston Town Center at 11846 Spectrum Center.
The bank has also fleshed out its advisory board, recently adding Ryan Kerrigan, a star outside linebacker for Washington’s NFL team, and former Republican Congresswoman Barbara Comstock, who lost a 2018 bid for re-election in Virginia’s 10th District.
Trustar Bank Raises Big Funding Round, Picks Site for HQ
The still-in-organization Trustar Bank spearheaded by former WashingtonFirst Bank CEO Shaza Andersen is several steps closer to opening its doors after closing a big round of funding and choosing a headquarters site.
Andersen told me in an interview the bank raised more than $50 million in funding, above the high end of the $35 million to $50 million it had set out to raise more than five weeks ago. “The relatively quick turnaround spoke to the investors’ strong interest in the bank”, Andersen Said.
“We had such an enthusiasm in the marketplace,” she said. “A lot of it is because we have been there and done that. People trust us and they know we have done it before and hopefully we will do it again.”
The Fresh funding was not the only sign of progress for Trustar, which has signed a letter of intent to open its first location at 774A Walker Road in Great Falls, which Andersen anticipates opening by the end of June. Trustar will make a decision soon on a second location in Reston, which Andersen hopes to open sometime in the third quarter.
The Great Falls location will not look like a traditional branch but more of an office, which will house administrative staff and can be used to meet with clients and take deposits, she said. Its Reston location will be more of a traditional branch.
Andresen said Trustar has submitted its application to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which needs to provide approval for the bank before it can begin operating. Meanwhile, Andersen is moving ahead with plans to hire additional staff next month.
The moves come as several groups across the region lay their own foundations for new banks. Tysons-based VisionBank hopes to open its doors in the coming months and has fleshed out its board recently. Meanwhile, District-based Moxy Bank recently received its conditional approval from the District. It has already received its FDIC approval.
She Sold WashingtonFirst for $447M. Now She's Starting a New Bank.
Former WashingtonFirst Execs Plan New Bank in Northern Virginia
Organizers with ties to WashingtonFirst Bankshares are planning a new bank in Northern Virginia.
The group, led by former WashingtonFirst CEO Shaza Andersen, plans to submit an application to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. in early March. The bank would be based in Fairfax County.
Trustar Bank could open as early as June, Andersen said in an interview. Organizers plan to raise $35 million to $50 million in initial capital.
The $2.1 billion-asset WashingtonFirst sold to Sandy Spring Bancorp in Olney, Md., last year. After several other community banks in the area were sold, Andersen decided the time was right to start a new bank.
“I started to realize there really is a community that needs us and there is a void,” Andersen said. “We know how to do it and we have the experience. It just felt like it was the right time to get back into it while the market is in need of community banks.”
Andersen recruited several former WashingtonFirst executives to join the effort, including Matthew Johnson, the bank’s former chief financial officer; Michael Amin, former senior vice president of operations; and Karen Laughlin, WashingtonFirst’s head of human resources. The executives would have similar roles at Trustar.
The group of 12 organizers has been working on Trustar for about a month, Andersen said.
“We have been able to move fast,” she said. “It was a great team. Once I decided I wanted to do this again and started making calls, everyone missed our group and wanted to get back together. It formed fairly quickly.”
Trustar plans to serve small and midsize businesses with $1 million to $50 million in revenue. The business plan will be similar to WashingtonFirst’s approach, Andersen said. Trustar will build branches over time, though they may be smaller than traditional locations, she added.
Before she orchestrated a WashingtonFirst reunion, Andersen said she met with state and federal regulators to discuss Trustar’s plans. Trustar then submitted a pre-filing application; it is waiting for comments from regulators.
Reception from local investors has been good so far, Andersen said. The bank has already received verbal commitments “for quite a bit of money,” she said.
“I’m really excited and am hoping everything happens fairly quickly,” Andersen said.
Three other groups are working on de novo banks around Washington, area including Vision Bank, Marathon International Bank and Moxy Bank. Moxy received FDIC approval earlier this month.
“The difference between us and them is that we have done it before,” Andersen said.