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CornerBank seeks state bank charter

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Friday, May 9, 2014, at 3:53 p.m.

A Winfield bank doing business in Wichita plans to convert from a national bank charter to a state one.

CornerBank, a $285 million bank with a branch at 12828 E. 13th St., is awaiting approval from the Kansas Office of the State Bank Commissioner for the conversion.

Bruce Schwyhart, CornerBank CEO, said Friday that the charter conversion makes sense on several fronts, not the least of which is cost to the bank. It’s cheaper for the bank to have a state charter than a national one.

“That’s very much a benefit,” he said. “It’s (the savings) not terribly substantial. But when you’re trying to be efficient as possible … it can help the bottom line. It’s certainly something you can’t ignore.”

Schwyhart also said that CornerBank is not a large bank doing business in multiple states and doesn’t feel the need to continue with a national charter.

“State banks are typically community banks,” he said. “That’s what we are and where we plan to stay.”

He said the bank first contemplated a charter conversion a few years ago but “felt at that time it was not quite the right time.”

Once the charter conversion is approved, CornerBank will have the state bank commissioner as its regulator instead of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

“We have a very good relationship with the OCC. It wasn’t anything that was adversarial … but going forward and looking at things strategically, we felt very much like it’s time to move in that direction.”

He said the bank will also be regulated by the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank because it is a Fed member bank.

Besides Wichita and Winfield, the bank has branches in Arkansas City, Douglas, Lawrence, Oxford and Wellington.

Reach Jerry Siebenmark at 316-268-6576 or jsiebenmark@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @jsiebenmark.

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