Cogent Bank + Green Check Verified
Interview with Chris Hartman, EVP, Chief Deposit Officer
Tell us about Cogent Bank and the community you serve.
Cogent Bank is a state-chartered bank that has operated as a full-service business and personal bank since 2001. With over $1 billion in total assets, Cogent offers multiple banking centers in North, Central and Southwest Florida. Cogent offers a broad range of lending, depository, treasury management and mobile banking services designed to meet the complex and diverse needs of its clients while staying focused on the local communities it serves. Cogent believes banking is personal and requires high-touch, innovative services designed to make managing financial transactions easier. Cogent pairs its financial expertise with a passion for learning more about its clients’ goals and objectives.
Tell us why Cogent Bank decided to start a cannabis banking line of business.
As a bank focused on commercial clients, we view cannabis like we would any other business. But with enhanced due diligence and monitoring, since cannabis is still illegal at the Federal level. We offer our entire suite of products and services to this industry including deposit and Treasury Management Services, and to some extent, commercial and real estate loans. It’s important to us to be the bank for all businesses, especially the underserved like cannabis.
What businesses are the focus of your program?
We are focused on all businesses throughout the cannabis supply chain including dispensaries, cultivators, wholesalers, testing companies, and many more.
What are your current and future goals for the program?
Being entrepreneurial is one of our corporate core values at Cogent Bank. We pride ourselves on providing innovative ideas and responding to the needs of the business community, especially the underserved. The cannabis industry is rapidly growing, and they have tremendous financial needs. We are committed to being a financial partner to the businesses in this space.
What has been the initial response from the cannabis-businesses you’ve talked to?
When we talk to prospects about what Cogent Bank has to offer cannabis businesses, they are very excited and a bit surprised that a commercial bank our size is so innovative. They find our willingness to work with the industry in a transparent and flexible way, helps them focus on their core business rather than worrying about their bank relationship.
Why did Cogent choose Green Check Verified as a partner?
Green Check Verified is a leader in this space, and we knew they could provide us the platform and oversight we need to be successful. Additionally, their flexibility in working with clients who utilize a wide variety of POS systems, allows us to easily monitor transactions and provide an easy to read dashboard.
What has the experience been like working with Green Check Verified?
Green Check has provided us with the support and structure we needed to be successful. They are quick to respond to our inquiries and have offered valuable advice on how to be more successful in serving our clients.
Do you have any advice for banks considering building a cannabis banking program?
This is a highly regulated industry, so it is critical to have strong partnerships with your vendors, regulators, and clients built on mutual respect and trust.