Florida Capital Bank, one of only two banks along with TIAA headquartered in Jacksonville, started 2020 coming off its best year since opening in 2004.
Despite the pandemic, President and COO Mark Johnson said this year is on track to be better, attributing growth to several lines of business: mortgage lending, warehouse lending and commercial real estate loans.
“(2019 and 2020) have been very conducive to a good mortgage markets,” Johnson said. “And so we’ve been able to take advantage of that.”
Last year, the bank’s assets totaled $454.7 million. At the end of this year’s third quarter, Johnson said the bank had $530 million in assets.
The bank did more than $4 billion in warehouse lending last year, and is on track to break $3 billion in that area in 2020. Through warehouse lending, Florida Capital provides lines of credit to smaller mortgage bankers.
Johnson estimates about $1.5 billion in mortgage lending in 2020, compared with $1.1 billion in 2019.
With low mortgage rates, Johnson said people increasingly are deciding to move out of apartments and buy homes.
“The mortgage market is probably the hottest mortgage market that I can recall in my 40 years,” he said.
Florida Capital has four bank branches in the state in Jacksonville, Gainesville, Tampa and Orlando.
Unlike some banks that are closing branch locations, Johnson said Florida Capital will “maintain the status quo,” and not add or close branches.
“The goal is to maintain the markets that we’re in, but grow in the markets that we’re in,” he said.
Before the 2008 recession, it had 19 branches.
During that time, Johnson said the bank had $1 billion in assets. The recession hit, “it totally changed the dynamics of community banks in the state of Florida.”
“Florida Capital certainly wasn’t immune to that,” he said. “We had substantial losses, we were bleeding capital. And so we just had to make some tough decisions.”
The bank fell from $1 billion in capital to $300 million.
Its mortgage lending business is what saved the bank, he said. In 2010, Florida Capital Bank issued $2.8 billion in mortgage loans.
“The mortgage bank was really the earnings engine for the bank during the recession,” Johnson said.
The economic recession caused by the pandemic hasn’t been nearly as bad as the Great Recession in 2008, he said.
Through the Paycheck Protection Program, Florida Capital Bank loaned around $25 million. The program is partially responsible for the bank’s success this year.
Like nearly every other company, the pandemic caused Florida Capital to shift to remote operations.