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How Banks Work

Starting a Bank: Directors

­The organizing group has to identify directors, a chief executive officer (who usually has to have past experience running a bank) and other executives. The integrity, past business histories and credit histories of these people will greatly affect the acceptance or denial of the bank's charter. The important thing is to carefully select these partners and make sure they are team players, have the experience and know-how to help you make the bank work, and can withstand (both professionally and personally) the close scrutiny of the regulatory investigation.

The number of directors you must have varies from state to state. In Florida, you must have at least five, and there is no maximum number. These partners have to put up money as an initial offering that shows their level of commitment and helps get the bank going. The required amount in Florida is 25 percent. In other states it may be as low as 10 percent to 15 percent of the total capital needed to start the bank. This group then becomes shareholders in the bank. In most cases, there is a limit of 24.9 percent to how much stock an individual or company may have, unless the company is a holding company.