LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Despite the tough economic climate, Lake Charles is home to the only new federally-insured bank to open in 2010 in the nation. Operating in a double wide trailer on Nelson Road near Trinity Baptist Church, Lakeside Bank has been open since July 26th.
At a time when hundreds of banks have had to close in recent years because of the recession - you may ask why open a bank now? Hartie Spence who runs Lakeside Bank says now is the perfect time to open a bank because we're on the bottom of an economic cycle and Lakeside plans on riding it up as things are expected to get better.
Spence says it took about six months to raise the 13-million dollars to begin operations. After going through the process he says getting approved to open says a lot about the economy and future of Lake Charles.
"It's a real compliment - the FDIC and the State see the economy in Lake Charles as very solid and also positive for decades to come," said Spence.
With a little more than 100 customers Lakeside Bank currently has one location, but plans to expand their community banking operation to other locations in the future.
Also because it's the only new bank to open nationwide this year - Lakeside Bank has been featured recently in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and on the BBC.