Commercebank passes $2 billion, doubled in 3 years
By Jonathon Gutierrez
Commercebank reports exceeding $2 billion in total assets, this week more than doubling the financial institution's size compared to three years ago.
With assets in excess of $2.1 billion, President Millar Wilson said the company's growth could be attributed to additional branch offices, increased investments from Venezuelan nationals living in South Florida and an increase in customers who hail from other Latin American countries.
"According to our numbers, our growth is actually close to 20% in the domestic market, which outpaces most of our competitors," Mr. Wilson said. "A significant part of that is from Venezuelans in South Florida."
He also attributed the growth to the company's moderate size, which he said allows customers the benefits of a large bank while providing the attention associated with a community bank.
"There are very few banks left in Florida our size," Mr. Wilson said. "They are either significantly larger and often impersonal or much smaller and hence do not have the depth and breadth of services that we offer."
Commercebank was created following the establishment of a regional agency for Venezuela-based Banco Mercantil in 1983 in Miami.
In 1987, the parent company, Mercantil Servicios Financieros, purchased Commercebank, which then had two offices with $20 million in assets. Mr. Wilson was manager.
He said it has since grown to six offices throughout Miami-Dade County, with a new one in Kendall. The bank has three branches in Broward County, including the newest in Weston, and one in Manhattan.
The bank is now planning to establish a branch in Houston, Mr. Wilson said.
"Houston is a very important part of the oil business in the US and there are a lot of service companies in the oil business located in the area," he said. "Venezuela, one of our other markets, is heavily dependent on oil and there's a lot of trade between Houston and Venezuela. I think we have something to offer to all of our customers."
It will not function as a full branch office, he said, but mainly work to establish and strengthen ties with local companies.
"The primary objective," Mr. Wilson said, "is to develop loans in the Texas market and be responsible for our relationship with Mexican banks and Mexican companies."