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C1 Bank opts for 'Plan B'

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  • | 7:06 a.m. January 4, 2013
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C1 Bank is moving on after scuttling its planned high-profile merger with Miami-based U.S. Century Bank. Instead, C1 is preparing to put its name on a U.S. Century branch located on prestigious Brickell Avenue in Miami, and it has been busy interviewing lenders.

“We've always had a Plan B,” says C1 Bank CEO Trevor Burgess. Under the new plan, for now, the St. Petersburg-based bank will focus on growing by making loans, rather than through acquisition.

Burgess opted not to proceed with the merger, which would have more than doubled C1's $900 million assets, because certain conditions weren't able to be fulfilled in a timely way. “I made the decision,” he tells Coffee Talk. “I chose to withdraw my application with the FDIC.” He says he believes FDIC would have approved the merger.

In the meantime, C1 is expanding in St. Petersburg. “We're desperately in need of more space,” says Burgess. “We're hiring every day.” As it moves into the Miami market, the hiring pace will increase. “We're going to need compliance people, credit people, and operations people,” he says. By late 2013, an estimated 115 people will work at the headquarters, up from about 85 now.

As for a Plan B merger, Burgess has held early-stage talks with a couple of banks—nothing concrete. “I've always got a list of 10 banks that I'm looking at.”


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