Community leaders to open first full-service Sparta-based bank

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:46

    SPARTA-Brian Fitzpatrick and his friends believe in the community. So much so, that they are putting $7.5 million to prove it. Fitzpatrick and a group of business and community leaders have joined hands to start Noble Bank, the first full-service bank headquartered in Sparta. The group of nine investors, all of whom have helped raised the $7.5 millions needed to start the project, includes Fitzpatrick, Peter Cofrancesco III, dentist Terrence Duddy, real estate developer Richard Crepeau, Pope John's Chief Financial officer Jane Brown, Dr. Parimal Bhayani, David Canfield, Jeff Parrott and freeholders Steven Oroho and Harold Wirths. "Traditionally business owners like to do business locally, where they can get personal attention," said Fitzpatrick, adding that the banking industry's current trend of consolidation and merges has put additional bureaucratic layers between the local business person and a bank's management making the lending institutions less accommodating to small and medium-size businesses. "The other (area) banks are really branches," said Fitzpatrick. "With us, the customers are going to have access to the decision-makers, being myself or the board -- People who can respond to them right away. You can't get that from a branch of a big bank." Fitzpatrick, whose banking experience spans over three decades including 16 years as an examiner for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and 14 years at the head of Newton Trust Company, is Noble Bank's president and CEO. The investors expect to have the required $7.5 million in escrow "within a week or so." Once that amount is reached, Fitzpatrick said, he can start the hiring. Initially, he expects the bank will create 14 jobs locally. The bank' headquarters will eventually be located at 351 Sparta Avenue. In the meantime, the bank will open at a temporary location at 376 Lafayette Road. Although the bank will aim to cater to the area's small and medium-size businesses, it will also provide a full range of services for the individual customer. "Retail customers are going to be the heart and soul of our business," said Fitzpatrick. "We will offer mortgages, consumer loans, personal loans and credits cards all the things a consumer wants."