A new bank scheduled to be launched in Michigan state in December will have an Indian American as its head.
The City Central Bank, to come up at Novi, a small township in the state's Oakland County, is a result of the efforts of Satish Jasti and a group of 20 investors, 19 of them South Asians, according to media reports.
The Michigan Office of Financial and Insurance Services and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp recently gave their approval to Jasti and his group to organise a new Michigan state bank.
"There is no South Asian Indian-owned bank in Michigan," Jasti, its proposed president and chief executive officer, told the Indus Business Journal, an ethnic newspaper. "We have the advantage of being first in the market."
Jasti, 47, who came to the Detroit area of Michigan from India in 1975, has 22 years of banking experience. Holder of a bachelor's degree in accounting from Wayne State University and an MBA from the University of Chicago, he began his banking career with the Federal Reserve in Detroit.
He later worked in the National Bank of Detroit, Standard Federal Bank and then the Key Bank in Birmingham, also in Oakland County. He left the last job to start his Novi venture.
"I always wanted to do this," he told the Novi Times.
The bank unveiled its tentative design last week. It will open in a temporary office in December but will shift to a permanent building next summer.
Though Jasti described the new venture as a "community bank", he said it would cater to not only South Asians. The institution would look to carving a niche in the cutthroat Michigan banking market by catering to physicians, attorneys, certified public accountants and the general public.
"We are unique (because) we are locally owned and decisions happen here and fast," Jasti told the journal. "Our profits will stay in the area and (will be) reinvested."
In another interview with the Novi Times newspaper, Jasti said that having a Novi base will allow the bank to stand out in a sea of competitors that have local footprints but are based elsewhere.
By targeting specialised groups, Jasti hopes to insulate it from Michigan's sluggish economy, the Novi Times reported. The bank plans to offer loans up to $1.5 million.
The bank is awaiting approval from the country's Securities and Exchange Commission following which it plans to raise $11-16 million in capital through a common stock offering.