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Bank of America Failure, Small Bank Opportunity

Rivera says that Green Bank, NA is looking to continue its "strong organic growth and always looking out for an acquisition that makes sense." The bank is set to complete the purchase of three more Houston-are branches from Main Street Bank in late October, and will also open another branch in Dallas later next month.

Frank Sorrentino III, CEO of North Jersey Community Bank of Englewood Cliffs, said that "there is a trend developing here, where the largest institutions are now charging their customers fees," and that the "Durbin Amendment is starting to show that price controls just don't work," since the largest banks "are rating their customers and charging the ones they don't think are profitable. At the end of the day here, the consumer has lost."

"We have always had free checking and free debit cards," Sorrentino said, adding that "yes we won't make as much money from interchange fees," but "we can make a profitable relationship with each of our clients because the relationship is not based on any particular service."

The privately held North Jersey Community bank had $656.2 million in total assets as of June 30, operating 8 offices in Bergen, Hudson and Monmouth counties in New Jersey.

The bank was well-capitalized, with a Tier 1 leverage ratio of 8.24% and a total risk-based capital ratio of 10.81% as of June 30, according to SNL.

When asked if the new fees being instituted by the largest banks are good news for his institution, Sorrentino said "every time the larger banks change their models, it is good for us," and that "as the largest bank gets larger, the smaller client falls through the cracks and doesn't get the good customer service any longer."

"A great example of good customer service is that at our bank, if you call your loan officer, he or she can answer your deposit questions as well," he said.

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-- Written by Philip van Doorn in Jupiter, Fla.

To contact the writer, click here: Philip van Doorn.

To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/PhilipvanDoorn.
Philip W. van Doorn is a member of TheStreet's banking and finance team, commenting on industry and regulatory trends. He previously served as the senior analyst for TheStreet.com Ratings, responsible for assigning financial strength ratings to banks and savings and loan institutions. Mr. van Doorn previously served as a loan operations officer at Riverside National Bank in Fort Pierce, Fla., and as a credit analyst at the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, where he monitored banks in New York, New Jersey and Puerto Rico. Mr. van Doorn has additional experience in the mutual fund and computer software industries. He holds a bachelor of science in business administration from Long Island University.
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