Look ahead at 2017: Financial services set for boom year

Jacksonville’s financial services companies were looking at a big year in 2017 anyway, and with the election of Donald Trump and the potential of deregulation, Jacksonville’s financial industry could benefit.

Many of the community banks in Jacksonville have merged with larger banks, including Jacksonville Bank in 2016. There’s just three locally headquartered community banks with more than $100 million in deposits left in Northeast Florida.

They are: FirstAtlantic Bank with $358.74 million in area deposits, Atlantic Coast Bank with $354.72 million in area deposits and CBC National Bank with $218.53 million in area deposits.

If deregulation of the banking industry does occur, expect these banks to receive a much needed shot in the arm, which could free up capital for local projects.

They could benefit even if regulations don’t change rapidly, said Mitch Hunt, the chairman and CEO of FirstAtlantic Bank. While he said he does not expecting a frenzy of banking deregulation in 2017, a Trump presidency will have other side effects that will positively impact his business.

“Regarding deregulation, I think it will be much slower to come about,” he said. “I think the pace of regulation will slow down, which will be good for both the big banks and smaller banks.”

He said the real impact for community banks will be less about policy and more about confidence in the economy.

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