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December 23, 2022

New CT startup commercial bank pulls plug on launch efforts

The founders of New Canaan Bank wanted to launch a new branch at 208 Elm St., in New Canaan, in a former Bankwell Financial branch.

Connecticut's first startup commercial bank in over a decade won’t be getting off the ground after all. 

Organizers trying to launch a new commercial bank in Fairfield County have withdrawn their application with the state Department of Banking, the agency said. 

New Canaan Bank would have been the first startup commercial bank in Connecticut since 2010, when Start Community Bank launched in New Haven. 

New Canaan Bank seemed to make progress with its formation efforts over the summer when the banking department granted it a temporary certificate of authority, which is essentially a preliminary approval.

But the Banking Department said the bank withdrew its application on Dec. 14. 

Louis Garcia, who was going to become CEO of the new bank, didn’t respond to an email request for comment Friday morning. 

But he issued a statement to Hearst CT that said the uncertain economy led to the application withdrawal. 

"While we had significant investor interest, a stellar staff and location, the economic downturn presented enough concerns that we voluntarily withdrew our application," Garcia told Hearst.

Organizers of New Canaan Bank included former bank and investment executives, a real estate developer and doctor, among others. 

They submitted an application about a year ago to launch a de novo bank that would provide personal and commercial banking products and services for nonprofits, businesses, local merchants and individuals in New Canaan and the surrounding communities.

The bank planned to have its headquarters at 208 Elm St., in the heart of downtown New Canaan and in a former Bankwell Financial Group branch. Bankwell formed following the 2013 merger of The Bank of Fairfield and The Bank of New Canaan.

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