When Jorge Gonzalez joined City National Bank in Miami 12 years ago, the community bank had about $3 billion in assets. Assets have since grown to nearly $22 billion, making CNB the second-largest Florida-based bank, with about 1,000 employees statewide. While much of its footprint is in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, the 75-year-old bank has been pushing hard in Central Florida, the Tampa Bay area and Jacksonville over the past of the last five years.
CNB closed a record $5.4 billion in loans last year, up from $3.4 billion in 2019, Gonzalez said. Nearly two-thirds of that amount was home loans, reflecting the influx of businesses and residents heading to Florida.
- Market Outlook: “I’ve been in the banking industry for over 30 years now, and I really haven’t seen the pure optimism and the momentum and just the pure growth that we are experiencing today across many sectors, industries and geographies. . People just want to be here.“
- What is different: Noting that Florida has long been known as a transitional market, he says it’s different now: “What we’re seeing are people coming here with a very long-term perspective. They uproot family, children, then displace businesses and employees. It’s not overnight money. It’s serious money.
- Interest rate: “Growth is going to continue…but with the Federal Reserve starting to look at interest rates, I think you’ll see a stabilization in growth and appreciation, which I think is healthy. But I think the next five years in Florida are going to be very healthy. I am very optimistic.