New community bank set to open in Va. Beach
For all Mike Ives’ experience in banking, he was perplexed by a word that potential investors and clients kept mentioning during a feasibility study for the bank he wanted to form: “menu.”
“I’d not heard the word ‘menu’ used before regarding banking,” says Ives, explaining that some larger banks give their clients a prearranged menu of financial options instead of forging a personalized relationship.
“I thought it was very apropos for the difference between larger [banks] and a small community bank.”
With his focus set squarely on serving small business owners and professional firms in southern Hampton Roads, Ives plans to open Integrity Bank for Business in April. Ives says Integrity has a niche to scratch.
“We think there’s tremendous opportunity,” says Ives, the bank’s president and CEO. “There’s no true small community bank existing right now in Norfolk, Virginia Beach and Chesapeake.”
The formation of Integrity, in a sense, has been an exercise in getting the band back together. With more than three decades of bank leadership experience, Ives previously served as president and CEO of Heritage Bank, the last new Hampton Roads-headquartered bank, which focused on business customers before it merged with Southern Bank in 2016. Two Integrity senior staffers and six Integrity board members served in similar roles at Heritage.
Steve Yeakel, president and CEO of the Virginia Association of Community Banks, says that Heritage had a unique business plan and “great people.”
“I am sure they would have every chance of success,” he says of Integrity. “They were a good team at Heritage.”
Startup — or “de novo” — banks have been a rarity since the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act more than doubled regulations and increased the amount of capital required to open a bank. After regulations were relaxed in 2018, de novo activity began to pick up, including the establishment of Fairfax County-based Trustar Bank in 2019.
Integrity plans to raise minimal capital of $20 million, with a maximum of $23 million from a common stock offering. As of early November, Integrity had raised $1.4 million in seed money with support from Hampton Roads business leaders, including several members of the Nusbaum family of Norfolk-based S.L. Nusbaum Realty Co. With an initial branch office and headquarters planned for the Lynnhaven area of Virginia Beach, Ives aims to deliver a personalized touch for customers.
“The market’s dominated by very large banks and very large community banks,” he says. “There’s currently a void in Hampton Roads.”