FDIC approves application for Climate First Bank

Another proposed Florida de novo has received conditional approval from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Climate First Bank, which plans to open in St. Petersburg, was approved for deposit insurance on March 26, according to a notice posted on the FDIC’s website. Organizers must raise $17 million in capital before the bank can open, according to the agency’s approval order.

The approval came less than six months after organizers, led by veteran banker Ken LaRoe, submitted an application. The proposed bank would implement “a values-based business model,” the group said in an October press release.

Ken LaRoe is one step closer to opening a new bank in Florida.

Climate First would serve retail and commercial clients, including an emphasis on nongovernmental organizations and businesses committed to sustainability efforts. The bank would offer loans for solar photovoltaic, energy retrofits and infrastructure to help combat climate change.

LaRoe was CEO of First Green Bancorp, which was sold to Seacoast Banking Corp. of Florida in 2018.

Climate First is the fourth de novo, and the second proposed bank in Florida, to receive conditional approval from the FDIC this year. The agency recently signed off on plans for Our Community Bank in Hialeah, Fla., if organizers can raise $18 million in capital.

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