Bank quickly reaches the milestone of 200 million dollars | Business Observer


Brandon Box had great faith in Cogent Bank’s local decision-making model when he led the Orlando-based bank’s expansion into Southwest Florida in July 2020. It was despite the pandemic then raging.

With some $230 million in deposits in Fort Myers and Naples banking centers in less than two years, Box’s confidence seems justified. The Southwest Florida Cogent market has also opened some 1,600 accounts and completed more than $100 million in loan closings since July 2020. While the region is buoyed by the marketing might of Cogent, which has 1, 07 billion in assets, exceeding 200 million in deposits in less than two years remains a solid achievement. Some community banks take four or five years to reach this threshold. “It’s a lot of activity,” Box told Coffee Talk. “It’s a testament to the market’s appetite for a smaller banking option.”

According to Box, one of the keys to the initial success was the bank’s ability to get loan and credit questions answered quickly. As the banking industry continues on a rapid consolidation path — just last week, a Michigan credit union announced it was acquiring Tampa-based First Citrus Bank — that rhetoric resonates. “We impressed people with our ability to make quick decisions,” says Box.

Another key? Old-school networking. Box and his team jumped into the circuit of events, which, in turn, put Cogent ahead when CPAs, lawyers and more talk to bank customers. Getting started there has also positioned the bank for success in another area that lately has been as difficult as taking out loans: finding employees. According to Box, like customers, employees often tire of constant bank mergers. “We’ve been able to provide a nice place to work,” Box says, “and I think people are tired of working for the big banks.”

Box, who was market president in Southwest Florida for IberiaBank before joining Cogent, plans to continue to grow the deposit and asset base, including planning to move from temporary digs in Naples to a banking center. permanent in October. Founded in 1999, Cogent has several banking centers throughout the state, including Tampa and Clearwater.


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