Bank Business Plan Checklist

A bank business plan is a document that describes the bank’s goals, strategies, operations, and financial projections. It communicates the bank’s vision and value proposition to potential investors, regulators, and stakeholders. A SBA business plan should be clear, concise, and realistic. It should also cover all the essential aspects of the bank’s business model.

Here is a checklist of the main sections that you should keep in mind while building a bank business plan:

  • Executive summary
  • Company description
  • Industry analysis
  • Competitive analysis
  • Service or product list
  • Marketing and sales plan
  • Operations plan
  • Management team
  • Funding request
  • Financial plan
  • Appendix

Sample Business Plan for Bank

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The following is a bank business plan template that operates in the USA. This bank business plan example is regarding ABC Bank, and it includes the following sections:

Executive Summary

ABC Bank is a new bank for California’s SMBs and individuals. We offer convenient banking services tailored to our customers’ needs and preferences. We have a large target market with over 500,000 SMBs spending billions on banking services annually. We have the licenses and approvals to operate our bank and raised $20 million in seed funding. We are looking for another $30 million in debt financing.

Our goal is to launch our bank by the end of 2024 and achieve the following objectives in the first five years of operation:

  • Acquire 100,000 customers and 10% market share
  • Generate $100 million in annual revenue and $20 million in net profit
  • Achieve a return on equity (ROE) of 15% and a return on assets (ROA) of 1.5%
  • Expand our network to 10 branches and 50 ATMs
  • Increase our brand awareness and customer loyalty

Our bank has great potential to succeed and grow in the banking industry. We invite you to read the rest of our microfinance business plan to learn about how to set up a business plan for the bank and how we will achieve our goals.

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Document for attracting equity financing for a startup or existing business. These business plans will comply with even the most complex investor requirements

Industry Analysis

California has one of the biggest and most active banking industries in the US and the world. According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp, California has 128 financial institutions, with total assets exceeding $560 billion.

The California banking industry is regulated and supervised by various federal and state authorities. However, they also face several risks and challenges, such as:

  • High competition and consolidation
  • Increasing regulation and compliance
  • Rising customer demand for digital and mobile banking
  • Cyberattacks and data breaches
  • Environmental and social issues

The banking industry in California is highly competitive and fragmented. According to the FDIC, the top 10 banks and thrifts in California by total deposits as of June 30, 2023, were:

business plan for start bank

Customer Analysis

We serve SMBs who need local, easy, and cheap banking. We divide our customers into four segments by size, industry, location, and needs: 

SMB Segment 1 – Tech SMBs in big cities of California. These are fast-growing, banking-intensive customers. They account for a fifth of our market share and a third of our revenue and are loyal and referable.

SMB Segment 2 – Entertainment SMBs in California’s entertainment hubs. These are high-profile, banking-heavy customers. They make up a sixth of our market and a fourth of our revenue and are loyal and influential.

SMB Segment 3 – Tourism SMBs in California’s tourist spots. These are seasonal, banking-dependent customers. They represent a quarter of our market and a fifth of our revenue and are loyal and satisfied.

SMB Segment 4 – Other SMBs in various regions of California. These are slow-growing, banking-light customers. They constitute two-fifths of our market and a quarter of our revenue and are loyal and stable.

Competitive Analysis

We compete with other banks and financial institutions that offer similar or substitute products and services to our target customers in our target market. We group our competitors into four categories based on their size and scope: 

1. National Banks

  • Key Players – Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, Citibank, U.S. Bank
  • Strengths – Large customer base, strong brand, extensive branch/ATM network, innovation, robust operations, solid financial performance
  • Weaknesses – High competition, regulatory costs, low customer satisfaction, high attrition
  • Strategies – Maintain dominance through customer acquisition/retention, revenue growth, efficiency

2. Regional Banks

  • Key Players – MUFG Union Bank, Bank of the West, First Republic Bank, Silicon Valley Bank, East West Bank
  • Strengths – Loyal customer base, brand recognition, convenient branch/ATM network, flexible operations
  • Weaknesses – Moderate competition, regulatory costs, customer attrition
  • Strategies – Grow market presence through customer acquisition/retention, revenue optimization, efficiency

3. Community Banks

  • Key Players – Mechanics Bank, Bank of Marin, Pacific Premier Bank, Tri Counties Bank, Luther Burbank Savings
  • Strengths – Small loyal customer base, reputation, convenient branches, ability to adapt
  • Weaknesses – Low innovation and technology adoption
  • Strategies – Maintain niche identity through customer loyalty, revenue optimization, efficiency

4. Online Banks

  • Key Players – Ally Bank, Capital One 360, Discover Bank, Chime Bank, Varo Bank
  • Strengths – Large growing customer base, strong brand, no branches, lean operations, high efficiency
  • Weaknesses – High competition, regulatory costs, low customer satisfaction and trust, high attrition
  • Strategies – Disrupt the industry by acquiring/retaining customers, optimizing revenue, improving efficiency

Market Research

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    Our market research shows that:

    • California has a large, competitive, growing banking market with 128 banks and $560 billion in assets.
    • Our target customers are the SMBs in California, which is 99.8% of the businesses and employ 7.2-7.4 million employees.
    • Our main competitors are national and regional banks in California that offer similar banking products and services.

    We conclude that:

    • Based on the information provided in our loan officer business plan, there is a promising business opportunity for us to venture into and establish a presence in the banking market in California.
    • We should focus on the SMBs in California, as they have various unmet banking needs, preferences, behavior, and a high potential for growth and profitability.

    Operations Plan

    Our operational structure and processes form the basis of our operations plan, and they are as follows:

    1. Location and Layout – We have a network of 10 branches and 50 ATMs across our target area in California. We strategically place our branches and ATMs in convenient and high-traffic locations.
    2. Equipment and Technology – We use modern equipment and technology to provide our products and services. We have computers and software for banking functions; security systems to protect branches and ATMs; communication systems to communicate with customers and staff; inventory and supplies to operate branches and ATMs.
    1. Suppliers and Vendors – We work with reliable suppliers and vendors that provide our inventory and supplies like cash, cards, paper, etc. We have supplier management systems to evaluate performance.
    2. Staff and Management – Our branches have staff like branch managers, customer service representatives, tellers, and ATM technicians with suitable qualifications and experience.
    3. Policies and Procedures – We have policies for customer service, cash handling, card handling, and paper handling to ensure quality, minimize losses, and comply with regulations. We use various tools and systems to implement these policies.

    Management Team

    The following individuals make up our management team:

    • Earl Yao, CEO and Founder – Earl is responsible for establishing and guiding the bank’s vision, mission, strategy, and overall operations. He brings with him over 20 years of banking experience.
    • Paula Wells, CFO and Co-Founder – Paula oversees financial planning, reporting, analysis, compliance, and risk management.
    • Mark Hans, CTO – Mark leads our technology strategy, infrastructure, innovation, and digital transformation.
    • Emma Smith, CMO – Emma is responsible for designing and implementing our marketing strategy and campaigns.
    • David O’kane, COO – David manages the daily operations and processes of the bank ensuring our products and services meet the highest standards of quality and efficiency.
    Any questions? Get in Touch

    Financial Projections

    Our assumptions and drivers form the basis of our financial projections, which are as follows:

    Assumptions: We have made the following assumptions for our collection agency business plan:

    • Start with 10 branches, 50 ATMs in January 2024
    • Grow branches and ATMs 10% annually
    • 10,000 customers per branch, 2,000 per ATM
    • 5% average loan rate, 2% average deposit rate
    • 80% average loan-to-deposit ratio
    • $10 average fee per customer monthly
    • $100,000 average operating expense per branch monthly
    • $10,000 average operating expense per ATM monthly
    • 25% average tax rate

    Our financial projections are as per our:

    1. Projected Income Statement
    2. Projected Cash Flow Statement
    3. Projected Balance Sheet
    4. Projected Financial Ratios and Indicators

    Select the Legal Framework for Your Bank

    Our legal structure and requirements form the basis of our legal framework, which are as follows:

    Legal Structure and Entity – We have chosen to incorporate our bank as a limited liability company (LLC) under the laws of California.

    Members – We have two members who own and control our bank: Earl Yao and Paula Wells, the founders and co-founders of our bank.

    Manager – We have appointed Mark Hans as our manager who oversees our bank’s day-to-day operations and activities.

    Name – We have registered our bank’s name as ABC Bank LLC with the California Secretary of State. We have also obtained a trademark registration for our name and logo.

    Registered Agent – We have designated XYZ Registered Agent Services LLC as our registered agent authorized to receive and handle legal notices and documents on behalf of our bank.

    Licenses and Approvals – We have obtained the necessary licenses and approvals to operate our bank in California, including:

    • Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Insurance
    • Federal Reserve System Membership
    • California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) License
    • Business License
    • Employer Identification Number (EIN)
    • Zoning and Building Permits

    Legal Documents and Agreements – We have prepared and signed the necessary legal documents and agreements to form and operate our bank, including:

    • Certificate of Formation
    • Operating Agreement
    • Membership Agreement
    • Loan Agreement
    • Card Agreement
    • Paper Agreement
    Any questions? Get in Touch

    Keys to Success

    We analyze our market, customers, competitors, and industry to determine our keys to success. We have identified the following keys to success for our bank.

    Customer Satisfaction

    Customer satisfaction is vital for any business, especially a bank relying on loyalty and referrals. It is the degree customers are happy with our products, services, and interactions. It is influenced by:

    • Product and service quality – High-quality products and services that meet customer needs and preferences
    • Customer service quality – Friendly, professional, and helpful customer service across channels
    • Customer experience quality – Convenient, reliable, and secure customer access and transactions

    We will measure satisfaction with surveys, feedback, mystery shopping, and net promoter scores. Our goal is a net promoter score of at least 8.

    Operational Efficiency

    Efficiency is key in a regulated, competitive environment. It is using resources and processes effectively to achieve goals and objectives. It is influenced by:

    • Resource optimization – Effective and efficient use and control of capital, staff, and technology
    • Process improvement – Streamlined, standardized processes measured for performance
    • Performance management – Managing financial, operational, customer, and stakeholder performance

    We will measure efficiency with KPIs, metrics, dashboards, and operational efficiency ratios. Our goal is an operational efficiency ratio below 50%.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    How do I start a small bank business?

    To start a small bank business in the US, you need to raise enough capital, understand how to make a business plan for the bank, apply for a federal or state charter, register your bank for taxes, open a business bank account, set up accounting, get the necessary permits and licenses, get bank insurance, define your brand, create your website, and set up your phone system.

    Are banks profitable businesses?

    Yes, banks are profitable businesses in the US. They earn money through interest on loans and fees for other services. The commercial banking industry in the US has grown 5.6% per year on average between 2018 and 2023.

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