Challenger Climate First Bank to launch in Florida’s Tampa Bay Area in Spring
Climate First Bank, one of America’s latest banking challengers, is gearing up to launch in Florida.
The Tampa Bay Area-based start-up has selected Finastra’s full suite of banking software. This includes its Fusion Phoenix core banking system, Fusion Digital Banking, and Fusion Total Lending.
Finastra says the start-up, which promises to be “carbon neutral” from the day it opens, will also use it for various payments analytics services too.
The fintech evaluates all its vendors against global environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals.
It thought Finastra “stood out” for its “open platform approach” and cloud delivery model, which it says is among the greenest means of technology consumption.
Six founding directors make up the Climate First Bank, chaired by Ken LaRoe. LaRoe founded two other banks, Eustis-based First Green Bank and Florida Choice Bank.
The start-up wants to become a full-service community bank which invests in climate-focused services, such as a “solar loan” option.
A number of companies globally already offer solar loans, which allow a customer to purchase a solar-energy system and pay it off over time.
It’s unclear what form Climate First Bank’s solar loans will take. Currently, firms can sell them in the form of a home equity loan or line of credit, an unsecured personal loan, or a secured loan.
Solar loans can also be provided by non-banking entities, such as state governments, utility firms, and cities.
In the long-term, Climate First Bank hopes to become “the largest and most profitable eco-conscious” institution in the Southeastern US.
It intends to promote green infrastructure and sustainable business practices in local communities. This could see the fintech partner with Florida’s state authorities and its utility providers to make a real difference.
And it hopes to use Finastra’s “open finance approach” to plug into an ecosystem of fintechs as it expands too.
The start-up specifically cites the core banking provider’s Microsoft-fuelled FusionFabric.cloud developer platform and marketplace.
It has already made use of this open application programme interface (API) software, integrating with Allied Payment Network’s bill payments app.