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BY THE BOOK: THE ABC’S OF STARTING A BANK

By D Magazine |

A local economist and a banking consultant have co-authored what they believe is the first book offering guidelines on how to organize and open a bank.

The book was written by economist John Sartain, who specializes in bank charters, and banking consultant Marcia Munson, who has 11 years’ experience working in the Comptroller of the Currency’s southwestern district office. They say their book is a road map to avoiding the pitfalls that can occur between the time someone applies for a bank charter until he must legally open the bank for business (about 18 months).

The book, Organizing and Opening a Bank, retails for $3,500 and includes special versions for each bank director as well as five hours of individual consultation. “We’ve had a very delightful response,” Sartain says. “There’s a very good market.”

Since Dallas is an economic hot spot in the country right now, there is particular interest in starting banks here, Sartain says. “So the book gives a time line showing the different procedures that have to be done,” Munson says. “The things in the first part of the chart have to be done quickly. You have 18 months to open.” The book has several special sections, including duties of the board of directors, duties of bank management, how to raise capital, how to purchase a building, how to comply with regulatory agencies and how to abide by national banking laws.

Sartain says that the most important aspect of opening a bank is choosing the right chief executive officer. But that’s getting tougher to do in Dallas, he says. “This market we’re operating in is very thin,” he explains. “With the large number of new banks opening, it’s hard to find a really capable CEO. This region is having to hire them away from other regions.”

Another segment of the market that the book is appealing to is the person interested in opening a small-town bank. “We see groups come in from small towns, and they want a new bank to be locally owned and to have a local group of directors,” Munson says. “Although they are well-meaning and experienced businessmen, they don’t have any experience in banking. This book was written for people like that.”

For information, contact Sartain or Munson at 521-3338.