Blueharbor Bank has established a loan-production office in Charlotte, becoming the latest community bank to get a foothold in the city.
In an interview Tuesday, Jim Marshall, CEO of the 8-year-old Mooresville-based bank, said the SouthPark office opened last month. Prior to that, Blueharbor had already been lending to customers in Charlotte, where some of its shareholders live, he said.
Marshall said the bank could open a branch in Charlotte in a year or two. But a decision will be based on growth in the market, he said.
Blueharbor adds to the mix of community banks that have recently entered the highly competitive Charlotte banking market.
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Last year, Cornelius-based Aquesta Bank purchased a branch in SouthPark from CertusBank, giving Aquesta its first branch in Charlotte. Before that, Aquesta had commercial lenders serving Charlotte but no office presence in the city.
In another example, Greensboro-based NewBridge Bank in 2013 opened its first branch in Charlotte after establishing a loan-production office in the city the year before. The SouthPark loan-production office was relocated to the branch, also in SouthPark.
Blueharbor’s loan-production office is at 4201 Congress St., in the Rotunda Building.
Marshall, who also serves as Blueharbor’s president, said Charlotte’s large size makes it an attractive market for banks.
“There’s a lot of growth opportunities down there,” he said. “There’s a lot of competition, as well.”
Blueharbor has been expanding its footprint since Marshall launched it in 2008 after leading an effort that raised $20.9 million in capital.
Last year, Blueharbor established a presence in Statesville by opening a branch there. Besides its main office in Mooresville, its other locations comprise a loan-production office in Gastonia and a branch in Huntersville.
In the Charlotte metropolitan area, Blueharbor is 28th for deposits, according to the latest annual ranking by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.