Toby Keith and Barry Switzer invest in Oklahoma City bank venture

Friday, September 30th 2005, 10:24 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Entertainer Toby Keith and former football coach Barry Switzer have joined with other investors who want to establish a new bank in Oklahoma City.

Country star Keith and Switzer, former coach of the University of Oklahoma and the Dallas Cowboys, are part of a group seeking investors to capitalize the bank to about $10-million, according to Joey Root, who resigned last month as president of Stillwater National Bank & Trust Co.

Root said Thursday that June or July is the target date for opening the bank because of the lengthy regulatory process.

``If an opportunity comes along to purchase a bank, we would consider that, as well,'' he said. ``That's something that enables you to open a little more quickly. But in the meantime, we're not slowing down the process.''

He said the bank, yet to be named, probably would be located in northwest Oklahoma City, an area of rapid growth.

``We're trying to make a decision on whether to buy a site and build a facility; possibly lease space early on,'' Root said. ``We're going to do our best to keep those types of costs down in the beginning until we can build the type of assets in banking that make you money, which are loan assets.''

Other members of the organizing group are Switzer's son-in-law, Hunter Miller.

Switzer said, ``I believe in Joey, and I think this new venture is going to be great.''

Valliance Bank obtained a charter and became the first new bank in Oklahoma City in nearly a decade. It also capitalized with $10 million and located in northwest Oklahoma City.

Root said his bank would specialize in mature commercial clients and wealthy, private customers.

Among metropolitan areas, Oklahoma City ranks sixth in an index showing the lowest concentration of banking deposits, meaning deposits are spread widely over a large number of banks and branches.

Root said the city is competitive but ``I feel that we can be successful building a bank in Oklahoma City. This town is growing, and I'm really excited about the future here.''