Admirals Bank has recently launched a residential mortgage business, as the bank looks to turn around past financial woes and transition into a community bank focused on the Massachusetts and Rhode Island markets.  

The mortgage business began in July, according to Admirals executives, and the bank is looking to hire experienced residential lenders right away.  

“We continue to turn this bank around,” Admirals Bank CEO Marc White told Banker & Tradesman. “Right now, I want to play offense.”  

Up until recently, Admirals Bank focused on consumer lending in the home improvement and residential solar sectors. But after a turbulent 2017 that included regulatory issues and millions in losses, the roughly $276 million asset bank is looking to recapitalize and pivot to an “advice-based and relationship-driven” community banking model.  

Admirals Bank has struggled to turn a profit since 2014. At the beginning of 2017, the bank had intended to sell off most of its assets to a group of bankers planning to spin off a new bank. At the time, White was part of that group of bankers looking to purchase the assets.  

But after the U.S. Office of the Comptroller issued a consent order in early 2017 and the bank’s former CEO Nicholas Lazares left the bank, the plan to sell of most of the bank’s assets fell apart. At the end of the second quarter of 2017, the bank reported $15 million in losses.   

White was brought on as a consultant in the third quarter of 2017 and eventually made CEO in November. Since the second quarter of last year, Admirals has managed to reduce losses every quarter.   

After losing $15 million in the first half of 2017, the bank reported losses of $2.6 million in the third quarter, $1.95 million in the fourth quarter, $1.28 million in the first quarter of 2018 and about $920,000 in the second quarter of this year, according to call reports. White hopes to have the bank running profitably in 2019.  

The losses have been stemmed mainly by trimming the bank’s work force and reducing the bank’s footprint. White said the bank in April subleased the entire 30,000-square-foot floor it utilized in the Hancock tower.   

At the end of the second quarter, the bank had 66 employees, down from 135 at the end of 2016 and 77 at the end of 2017, according to call reports.  

The bank expects to have an announcement on recapitalization efforts sometime soon in the third quarter.

Admirals Bank Launches Residential Mortgage Business

by Bram Berkowitz time to read: 2 min