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Branching out: Bankers wrestle with expansion strategies

Tampa Bay Business Journal
Jack Barrett is betting on branching as the best way to gather bank deposits and boost profitability.

Barrett, president and CEO of First Citrus Bank, just opened the bank’s fifth branch office June 22. The branch, located at 4302 W. Kennedy Blvd. in Westshore, is in a renovated Boston Market restaurant, retrofitted for about $400,000.

Barrett said branches are essential to bolster deposits, the lifeblood of community banks because the deposits they collect are used to fund loans. The difference between the interest paid on deposits and collected on loans is a bank’s net interest margin, the main source of profit for most community banks.

This focus on what Barrett calls

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