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Business Observer Wednesday, Jun. 15, 2022 1 week ago

A year after launch, bank grows to more than $200M in assets

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Climate First Bank opened two branches and has a third in the works.

Climate First Bank, a St. Petersburg community bank focused on environmentally sustainable products, such as loans for solar-power systems, opened for business a year ago and has already reached $211 million in assets.

According to a news release, the bank — founded by veteran Florida banker Ken LaRoe, who serves as CEO — also has $142 million in loans, $171 million in deposits and 43 employees. After opening its flagship St. Pete branch, Climate First Bank expanded to Winter Park and is in the process of establishing a third branch in LaRoe’s hometown of Eustis.

“I’m very thankful to our shareholders and directors for their faith in me and my team,” LaRoe states in the release. “Together, we have launched far more than a bank; we’ve launched our vision of a climate-positive future. The support we’ve received from the community highlights how much meaningful climate action resonates with people.”

Prior to its official opening in June 2021, the release states, Climate First Bank raised a $44 million in capital on a minimum subscription of $17 million. LaRoe’s initial three-year goal for the institution was $170 million in assets. He also aspires to have branches along the I-4 corridor within five years, and then to expand out of state to markets such as Asheville, North Carolina; Austin, Texas; and Atlanta.

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