An organizing group is seeking approval from the U.S. Comptroller of the Currency to open a bank that would offer specialized services to small and medium-sized businesses and professionals in metropolitan Washington.
The new institution, Enterprise Bank, N.A., will be located in downtown Washington, somewhere between Connecticut Avenue and 20th Street NW.
Organizers said the bank, which would be the District's 18th, will serve doctors, lawyers, accountants and other professionals.
The group, which is headed by Jeffrey M. Bucher, a former Federal Reserve governor, expects to sell between $5 million and $6 million in an initial stock offering and to open before the end of the year.
The District's 17th commercial bank, Century National, is scheduled to open May 1.
Like Century National, Enterprise Bank is being organized at a time when many in the industry contend the District is "overbanked." Both groups obviously disagree, maintaining that they can establish special niches and be successful in a market restricted by law to the District's boundaries.
"The focus of this bank is the middle-market area," said Allen L. Raiken, a banking lawyer who has been retained as agent for organizers of Enterprise.
Raiken said Enterprise has been modeled along lines similar to Manufacturers Bank in Los Angeles, where Bucher was an executive after leaving the Fed.
"There won't be a branch on every corner. It won't be a bank that will encourage walk-in trade," Raiken explained.
With specialized service, it will be possible for an Enterprise customer to bank by mail or messenger, Raiken said.
Besides Bucher, a banker and lawyer, other organizers are Peter Larson, a vice president at Shannon & Luchs Co.; Harrold Mesirow, managing partner in the Washington law firm of Lillick McHose & Charles; Peter Morabito, an Arlington dentist; John Jude O'Donnell, senior partner in the Washington law firm of Thompson, Larson, McGrail, O'Donnell & Harding; Jerome Sandler, a Maryland surgeon, and Leonard Weil, a bank executive.