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Newcomer Founders Bank eyes expansion to Alexandria

Founders Bank launched in the middle of the pandemic last year, and the D.C.-based bank is eyeing an expansion into Alexandria and Northern Virginia in the next several years.

That’s according to Founders Bank President Martin McCarthy, who told ALXnow that his tech-heavy brand is geared toward online-only banking.

“We definitely intend to grow into the Alexandria market,” McCarthy said. “We will likely have other branches in the future, but we’re going to be very branch-light. We could have one downtown, and one in Northern Virginia in the next five years or so.”

Like many of the members of his 18-person staff, McCarthy previously worked at Georgetown Bank before it merged with United Bankshares Inc. in 2016. He says he founded the bank after the region saw a drastic reduction in the number of local banks after decades of consolidation. It has since grown to more than $100 million in assets, he said.

“What we’re trying to do is fill what is a gaping void in the banking market in the D.C. area,” McCarthy said. “There is a huge level of disruption, and there’s a huge level of frustration among those who deal with community banks in the D.C. area… We are looking to do business with small and medium sized businesses in the D.C. Metropolitan area, and with the people that run those businesses.”

McCarthy said that opening during the pandemic proved to be challenging, forcing the bank to focus on technology so that customers could open accounts and close loans completely remotely.

“We also were able to open up at a time where we had no loans on our books that were negatively impacted by what the COVID environment was doing to a number of the different businesses in the area,” McCarthy said. “So, we had a very clean slate, and were able to come out of the gate knowing what the challenges were that we had to underwrite for as we began our growth.”

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