Customers Bank enters Wilmington market


A community bank specializing in business services settles in the Carolinas and chooses Wilmington for its first location. Customers Bank, headquartered in Reading, Pa., Is a leading financial institution with nearly $ 20 billion in assets, according to a press release.

The Wilmington team, which will serve the businesses and their executives, is led by Brad Neigel, Regional President of Client Banking Services for the Carolinas. Neigel was previously President of the Wilmington Market of the First National Bank.

“Initially, we plan to build a Wilmington team of 15-20 people over the next 12-18 months,” he said, adding that Customers Bank was looking for an office suite to house their operations.

“Wilmington will serve as a jumping off point to the Carolinas as the bank has a greater impact across the region,” bank officials said in a press release.

Customers Bank officials see Wilmington as a community where their financial institution can have a strong impact and be very competitive, according to Neigel. “We felt Wilmington, for what we do and what we are able to contribute, was a better choice for a first location than Raleigh or Charlotte. We have a high contact delivery model, and in Wilmington face-to-face relationships are important, ”he said.

Once Customers Bank moves to Wilmington and obtains what Neigel has called a “proof of concept” for that region, its managers will consider other locations such as Greenville, North Carolina; Greenville, South Carolina; Fayetteville, Asheville and Charleston, South Carolina.

Customers have locations in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York State, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Florida, Illinois and Texas.

The Wilmington banking team will focus on private businesses generating between $ 5 million and over $ 100 million in revenue: businesses that need help with equity financing, owner-occupied mortgage financing, or real estate investment financing, according to the press release. Other services will include cash management and capital and financial support for businesses wishing to relocate or expand their presence in the region.

“We mainly focus on commercial loans and deposits,” added Neigel. “We only focus on business banking, business loans. We do not offer investments and insurance like many competing banks do.

Most of Customers Bank’s transactions and future growth will be through its online presence, according to Neigel. He pointed to the more than 320,000 SBA Paycheck Protection Program loans – with a total value of $ 9.6 billion – that the bank has made nationwide. Customers Bank also recently launched a blockchain-based service that allows its customers to make payments with each other in real time.

“Bank-wide, we have 11 branches, but we’re quite similar to Live Oak Bank in some ways,” Neigel said. “We have a nationwide SBA lending model, but we have a pretty strong online retail banking presence. While we are planning to set up a retail branch here in Wilmington, we are much more focused on a digital platform. We are not going to be a traditional brick and mortar bank.

Customers Bank differentiates its services by being able to handle much larger transactions than most local community banks, up to $ 120 million, the press release said, adding that the local market manager is empowered to make those decisions. transaction.

“We don’t try to be everything for everyone. Our strategic approach is to partner with businesses and provide access to increased capital and capacity for large mid-market companies, ”said Neigel. “Our team is strongly focused on supporting the region’s economic growth and being a good corporate citizen. We plan to actively support the community and work closely with nonprofits and other community organizations that promote economic growth, prosperity, and opportunity for all members of our community.

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