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Coffee Talk
Business Observer Friday, Jul. 5, 2019 2 years ago

Bank puts its long run of success to the test

Pilot Bank has a solid five-year track record.

Pilot Bank executives are so confident in the bank’s strong five-year run they are inviting more financial scrutiny of its record.  

The bank, under parent company Pilot Bancshares Inc., has done that by qualifying for the OTC Markets Group. It’s not an IPO, and the bank and a sister entity, National Aircraft Finance Co., remain privately held, with 46% of all shares owned by board members and leadership. But being in the OTC, says Pilot Chairman and CEO Roy Hellwege, allows insiders and outsiders to get a clearer picture of the bank’s financial situation — and successes.  

“We’ve become a much larger and sophisticated bank over the last five years,” Hellwege tells Coffee Talk. “We think it’s important to make sure people are aware of that.”

And that will happen on the OTC Markets, where, starting June 20, Pilot Bancshares will be listed under the symbol PLBN. The bank, founded in 1987, will file quarterly reports with the OTC Markets, says Hellwege, which will go much deeper than the occasional updates the bank currently sends to investors and board members. All the bank’s required disclosures will be available on the OTC’s website,  (Data is also different, and deeper, than some of the publicly available information on all banks provided by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.)

“Upgrading to the OTCQX Market will enable Pilot Bancshares to provide a transparent public market for its new and existing shareholders,” says OTC Markets Group Executive Vice President of Corporate Services Jason Paltrowitz in a statement.

Pilot will have a lot of momentum in its OTC reports. For starters, its loan portfolio is up to about $322 million, from $157 million in 2014, says Hellwege. The bank is closing about 40 loans a month, he adds, even as competition increases. Pilot, with $383.6 million in assets thorough March, has raised at least $30 million over the last decade in capital raises, from some 400 investors. Going forward it plans to increase market share in Pinellas County, with a new office in St. Petersburg, and there are also plans to expand its SBA loan business. “We’ve had some significant growth,” says Hellwege, “and we are really excited for that to continue.”

(This story was updated to reflect the correct role of OTC Markets Group.)



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