Community Banks Vital to Small Business, Says Florida Bankers CEO

With community banks serving as a critical source of credit for the nation’s small business sector, Florida Bankers Association President and CEO Alex Sanchez today highlighted the importance of maintaining a healthy, vibrant community banking sector in the U.S.

“Local banks are important because our country thrives on small businesses, which employ a majority of Americans,” Sanchez wrote in an CNBC op-ed. “According to the Small Business administration, small businesses make up 99.7 percent of U.S. employer firms, 64 percent of net new private sector jobs, and 49.2 percent of private-sector employment. Their lenders of choice tend to be community banks.”

Sanchez added that while the total number of community banks has fallen to a low of 5,477 as of the third quarter of 2018, new opportunities for new bank formation are opening up as the regulatory environment becomes more open to de novo charters. Currently, there are 17 new bank applications or start-ups across the country, and “in Florida, several more are planned and are being organized,” he said.