As a recognized banking industry expert and president and CEO of Florida Bank of Commerce, Dana Kilborne can attest to the advantages locally-owned banks possess within the community. Every day, they have the unique opportunity to invest in small businesses, and they have demonstrated that they will continue to do so in the coming years. In 2013 alone, Florida Bank of Commerce extended over $60 million in loans to small businesses and investors throughout Central Florida. In 2014, they expect to increase that significantly.
AN APPETITE FOR RISK
We do our best work with business owners and professionals, regardless of the industry. A primary differentiator for us is the quality of the management team or operator. We are interested in their appetite for risk, business philosophies and operating styles, generally how well they run their business or how they decide to invest in a new project, and how they might react when things require retooling. We also invest time understanding the drivers of not only the business venture, but also the ownership interests as they are very closely connected. We are in the risk business so we don’t expect to eliminate risk, but we do expect to be able to adequately assess and mitigate it sufficiently.
THE REAL COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE
Our bankers believe the competitive advantage is in the culture and delivery model of Florida Bank of Commerce – not its size or ownership structure. We focus on the whole client, not just the transaction, and relate to small business owners because we spend time understanding what drives each business owner and the success of his or her company. Then we deliver more quickly with solutions we think will add value, which are often in addition to the opportunity initially presented.
Our platform and culture have been very attractive to clients and banking specialists who need to be able to deliver sensible, competitive business solutions consistently and predictably. Our business is really not that complicated – it is consistent execution that’s the hard part, and that’s our focus. We often say that we don’t perform brain surgery or launch rockets, but we have clients that do.
MAINTAINING PROFITS AMIDST REGULATION
It’s no secret that the pendulum has swung in favor of increased regulation due to the underlying causes of the recession and that means increased cost to all businesses, including banks. The unintended consequence of all this regulation, designed to protect the consumer and small business owner, is less choice. Entrepreneurs always find opportunity in times of chaos and Florida Bank of Commerce is no exception. Many banks have abandoned the types of offerings that are the subject of the increased regulation. However, we have chosen to stay in these markets and have successfully managed the increased regulatory burden while maintaining profitable product lines.