Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter / JPMorgan Chase & Co. Market Executive Hamp Johnston speaks during a press conference announcing the launch of the Future Ready Institutes at Howard School on Thursday, March 15, 2018, in Chattanooga, Tenn.

This story was updated at 4:39 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, with more information.

A group of Chattanooga bankers and business leaders plan to start a new bank in Chattanooga and are raising at least $30 million to capitalize the financial institution to be known as RockPoint Bank, National Association.

Four veteran bankers and eight local business owners and investors announced Thursday they have filed an application with the Office of Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to start a new federally chartered bank in Chattanooga.

Hamp Johnston, formerly market executive for JP Morgan Chase & Co. for the past five years and a former manager at First Tennessee Bank, is leading the organizing effort and will serve as president and CEO of the new bank.

Johnston said he hopes to be able to open the bank by next summer, pending regulatory approval.

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Hamp Johnston

"We chose RockPoint because of its connection to our city," Johnston said. "The name Chattanooga is believed to be derived from a Creek Indian word meaning 'rock rising to a point.' It depicts the rocky, mountainous terrain that defines our area."

As of June 30, 2019, the FDIC said that 28 commercial banks now operating in metropolitan Chattanooga collectively with nearly $10.2 billion in deposits in the market. But most of those banks are regional or national banks and organizers said they see a need in the market for a locally owned and managed financial institution.

"We see a need for a locally owned and managed bank that utilizes innovative technology," said Camille Daniel, a former senior vice president at First Tennessee Bank who is the proposed chief lending officer for RockPoint.

Bill Kilbride, a retired president of the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce and former Mohawk Industries executive, is one of the organizers and proposed board members.

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Bill Kilbride

"We are excited about starting a bank that is headquartered in Chattanooga and is focused on our community," Kilbride said in a statement."I am enjoying working with this energetic and experienced team and excited about the opportunity the bank has to make our community economically stronger."

RockPoint will be the biggest new bank chartered in Chattanooga since the former CapitalMark Bank was organized in 2007. CapitalMark was ultimately sold in 2015 to Pinnacle Bank for $187 million.

In addition to Johnston and Daniel, Patrick Jensen, formerly a senior vice president of financial planning and analysis at Atlantic Capital Bank, will serve as chief financial officer for RockPoint, and Kerry Riley, formerly senior vice president at FTN Financial, will serve as chief credit officer.

The proposed board of directors for RockPoint Bank include Ben Brock, John Haddock, Deston Hutcherson, Dallas Joseph, Kilbride, Cindy Lee, Dr. Mark McOmie and Harshad Shah.

Contact Dave Flessner at or 423-757-6340.