Many of you remember the emergence of Coastal Community Bank a few years back, during the real estate boom that swept through the Panama City Beach area like a hurricane. Property values sky-rocketed and prosperity moved over the area like melted chocolate over a fresh red apple. People were doing great, and banks were cropping up all over the place. Not all of them would make it, even some of the ones that had been around for decades ended up faltering. Coastal Community was one of them, but they seem to have been acquired by a good suit.
Tonight, Centennial Bank presented and welcomed themselves to the Panama City Beach community touting their dedication to being real people serving real customers. In his presentation, John Allison, founder of Centennial Bank, he stressed how important his customers were. He emphasized that they were a bank that wanted customers in their lobby. I actually really liked the guy. His response to a person in the audience who asked how they could be sure their banker would be there next week, next month, next year was, “If he’s a good banker, he does his job well and makes them money, then he’ll be there.” You can’t get more straight forward than that.
So, they are a new bank in town, but apparently not even close to a new bank. The financials they disclosed included them having $487 million in total capital, $269 million in excess capital, and $109 million in cash. Allison said they are a bank that does deals. If it makes sense, they are interested in it. They also like to take advantage of down markets. Allison reported that during the Great Texas Banking Crash of the 80’s, they acquired what resulted in being nearly a third of their assets. He said that ended up being a great move for their company. He thought his move into the northwest Florida Panhandle was a similar move.
Allison also mentioned that they are heavily involved in the communities they are in, lending to local organizations, schools, handle the banking for local governments and participating in local charities. He was very confident that they would be the same to the community here.
The first day of operations for Centennial Bank at their newly acquired locations in the panhandle was July 31. So far, they have absorbed most of the prior Coastal Community employees and have made a great impression on local businesses and consumers that bank with them. What has your experience been with them so far? Does anyone here bank with them now?
Here is the presentation slides they used.