August 2020 – A community bank headquartered in downtown Charleston, SC, First Capital Bank has enjoyed rapid growth over the past few years. Since 2018, the institution’s staff has increased by 60 percent and assets have more than doubled from $88 million to $210 million, driven by strong lending and deposit growth. With three full-service branches in South Carolina, one full-service branch and a loan production office in North Carolina, and a planned fifth branch for Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, First Capital Bank has a growing footprint in the South Carolina Lowcountry. However, growing rapidly in such a short time requires a high level of liquidity management to ensure funds are available to support the loan pipeline. That’s where their partnership with FHLBank Atlanta came in.
“When you have such a large pipeline in new lending business, you’re going to see some liquidity gaps,” noted Accounting and Finance Manager Brandon Cole. “Advances from FHLBank Atlanta were helpful in plugging those temporary gaps, allowing us to ramp up our lending business in just a few years.”
Their rapid expansion in business provided First Capital Bank the opportunity to lean on FHLBank Atlanta for support during a few “firsts” in their operations. The bank historically had not held an investment portfolio, but Cole says that when they decided to build a portfolio, they turned to FHLBank Atlanta for safekeeping services. The liquidity obtained through advances also supported investing activity in addition to lending.
As First Capital Bank grew, FHLBank Atlanta was attentive to the institution’s liquidity needs, providing exceptional service from the funding desk. Cole stated, “We kick around a lot of ideas, so to be able to reach out to the funding desk and get a call back with pricing, sometimes within the hour, is really valuable. They are always accessible and willing to answer any question on a particular product.”
While growing this institution, Cole is also navigating his return to the banking field after a brief hiatus. “I started out as a bank auditor, then left for a few years. When I found myself with the opportunity to reenter the field, our FHLBank Atlanta relationship manager reached out immediately,” This guidance helped to further the partnership between First Capital Bank and FHLBank Atlanta in the long run. Cole stated, “I visited the FHLBank Atlanta office and received onsite training on advances, collateral, and other products and services. This opportunity was invaluable in teaching me how to maximize the benefits offered by FHLBank Atlanta to its shareholder banks.”
It’s that focus on shareholder success that has helped further the relationship between FHLBank Atlanta and First Capital Bank. “I know that FHLBank Atlanta always has the shareholders’ best interest at heart. We are proud to be an FHLBank Atlanta shareholder. This relationship will contribute to our continued and future success.”