Prestigious Participants

More than 5 years ago when the whole world was questioning the value of starting community banks, I wrote the following on my Web site:

“An opportunity exists today that may not likely come our way again!

“Given the current economic environment, from the mortgage crisis to the "credit crunch" affecting large and small business, to the public's concern with the financial viability of existing banks in virtually all regions of the country, this is, indeed, the ideal time to start a bank. “

I wasn’t alone in my opinion!  Martin Gruenberg, Chairman of the FDIC and Thomas Hoenig who serves on the FDIC board with Mr. Gruenberg shared my view.  See our comments on my Web site.

Bankers whose system had been altered felt their world had been shattered.

Some politicians were unsure, and the media played to the negative.

As a native of Arizona who helps start community banks, I watched the evolution with a positive perspective.  I watched as three of the last 5 banks I helped start in Arizona were rated at the top in America.  One was number 1 in the nation of banks under $100 million in assets, another was number 11 and the third one was 5-star rated every quarter for the past 17 quarters.

Finally, there is a new study that shows why I am targeting Scottsdale with Scottsdale Community Bank, Gateway Business Bank and Gainey Business Bank!  

DataFox, a San Francisco-based deal-sourcing and research platform, ranked Scottsdale eighth on their list after crunching the numbers on over 12,000 U.S.-based, pre-Series A companies in its database to find the best cities to found a startup.

DataFox said in its ranking explanation. “The city boasts over 13,000 companies founded since 2010 that had at least $5 million in annual revenue.”

The DataFox study doesn’t even mention companies with under $5 million in annual revenue, nor those not-for-profits in the Arcadias Area totaling over $6 Billion in assets and deposits - all who need personal banking services.

While I would like to pat myself on the back for having such foresight since most others were blind to it, I really can’t because I learned that those I exposed to the facts quickly share my feelings.  

The more successful entrepreneurs and the higher ranking in businesses, the more rapidly they grasped the truth about the banking environment.

Look at the amazing quality of directors serving on boards of banks I am helping start.  They include a former Arizona Governor; a former Chief of Staff to two Arizona Governors; 3 former Arizona legislators; a former US Air Force Chief of Staff; a former US Air Force CFO; the Honorary Consul of Belgium who is a member of the Board of Directors of WP Carey, LLC, a NYSE publicly traded company with over $8 billion dollars in real estate assets around the world and associated with W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University; the former Vice President of The Boeing Company in Mesa who managed it for 11 years; and 18 directors from Eliances, an organization where I am known because I attend weekly meetings.

I even have a former Arizona Attorney General as consul to help me start banks 
Additionally, I founded and chair the Community Bank Advisory Council that meets with Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema and Congressmen David Schweikert, Trent Franks, and Matt Salmon.  They and U.S. Senator Jeff Flake help me with an EB-5 Community Bank Recapitalization Initiative and a program to modify Federal rules to allow community banks to purchase deposit insurance from insurance companies in lieu of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

When Phoenix City Councilman Jim Waring was Chairman of the Arizona Senate Finance Committee and Chuck Gray, now Congressman Salmon’s Arizona District Director was Arizona State Senate Majority Leader I founded and chaired the Arizona Financial Institutions Task Force.      

I share this information to give faith and comfort to those I am asking to consider joining in banking with me.  

Ernie Garfield
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