Florida Capital Bank, based in Jacksonville: on track for growth | Jax Daily Record | Jacksonville Daily Record

Florida Capital Bank, one of only two banks with TIAA headquartered in Jacksonville, entered 2020 after its best year since opening in 2004.

Despite the pandemic, President and COO Mark Johnson said this year was on track, attributing growth to several business lines: mortgages, warehouse loans and commercial real estate loans.

“(2019 and 2020) has been very conducive to a good mortgage market,” Johnson said. “And so we were able to take advantage of that.”

Last year, the bank’s assets amounted to $454.7 million. At the end of the third quarter of this year, Johnson said the bank had $530 million in assets.

The bank provided more than $4 billion in warehouse loans last year and is on track to exceed $3 billion in this area in 2020. Through warehouse loans, Florida Capital provides lines of credit to small mortgage bankers.

Johnson estimates around $1.5 billion in mortgages in 2020, up from $1.1 billion in 2019.

With mortgage rates low, Johnson said people are increasingly deciding to leave apartments and buy homes.

Florida Capital Bank President and COO Mark Johnson said the pandemic is forcing the company to reassess its needs for physical office space.

“The mortgage market is probably the hottest mortgage market I can remember from my 40s,” he said.

Florida Capital has four in-state bank branches in Jacksonville, Gainesville, Tampa and Orlando.

Unlike some banks that are closing branches, Johnson said Florida Capital will “maintain the status quo” and not add or close branches.

“The goal is to maintain the markets we are in, but grow in the markets we are in,” he said.

Before the 2008 recession, it had 19 branches.

Meanwhile, Johnson said the bank had $1 billion in assets. The recession hit, “it totally changed the dynamic of community banking in the state of Florida.”

“Florida Capital was certainly not immune to this,” he said. “We had substantial losses, we were bleeding capital. And so we just had to make some tough decisions.

The bank grew from $1 billion in capital to $300 million.

Its mortgage lending business is what saved the bank, he said. In 2010, Florida Capital Bank issued $2.8 billion in mortgages.

“Mortgage banking was really the engine of banking earnings during the recession,” Johnson said.

The economic recession caused by the pandemic was not as severe as the Great Recession of 2008, he said.

Under the Paycheck Protection Program, Florida Capital Bank loaned about $25 million. The program is partly responsible for the bank’s success this year.

Like almost every other business, the pandemic prompted Florida Capital to shift to remote operations.

Johnson said about 90% of its employees work remotely. He doesn’t see that changing next year, leading the company to reevaluate its physical office space needs, he said.

“We don’t need half the space we have here,” he said.

Its corporate headquarters and Jacksonville bank branch are located at 10151 Deerwood Park Blvd. The company employs around 130 people.

The head office leases approximately 20,000 square feet of office space.

If the bank moves, it’s likely to stay in Jacksonville, he said.

Johnson and Vice Chairman and CEO J. Malcolm Jones are natives of Jacksonville.

The bank has been in its executive offices since its inception in 2005, when the board purchased a Tarpon Springs bank and moved it to Jacksonville.

Members of the bank’s board of directors include former Congressman Ander Crenshaw, former Florida Capital Chairman and CEO Charlie Hughes, and The Heavener Company CEO James Heavener.

Johnson joined the bank in 2006 as President and CEO of Florida Capital Bank Mortgage.

Jones, his friend of over 40 years, asked him to join a predecessor bank called Florida Bank to start a mortgage company.

The two sold that bank, then went to work with Jones at Florida Capital Bank in mortgage lending.

Johnson has worked in mortgages for most of his career.

From 1976 to 2002, he worked at HomeSide Lending where he served as Executive Vice President of Secondary Production and Marketing.

“I love putting people in homes and living the American dream,” he said, “I love helping small businesses grow and helping people achieve their dreams.”

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