Home Bank A financial institution that exhibits its hand – Unbiased Banker

A financial institution that exhibits its hand – Unbiased Banker

A financial institution that exhibits its hand – Unbiased Banker


Stacy Watkins (left), president and CEO, and Hilary Nelson (proper), senior vp and director of operations and compliance, on the Las Vegas Strip. Photograph by Sammy Tillery

In relation to supporting outliers within the Las Vegas group, Lexicon Financial institution is aware of the way to play its playing cards.

By Tom Groenfeldt

Lexicon Financial institution

$237.6 million

Las Vegas, Nev.

Lexicon Financial institution in Las Vegas opened its doorways in August 2019, not lengthy earlier than COVID-19 shut down town’s leisure companies.

“This can be a Vegas financial institution,” explains Stacy Watkins, who was named president and CEO of the $237.6 million-asset financial institution within the early days of the pandemic. “It was actually impactful for us when the lights on the Strip went out—a really emotional, loopy time. You could have a financial institution that was born out of COVID and will have gone the opposite path however ended up thriving.”

Lexicon Financial institution didn’t wait lengthy to make a splash, sponsoring the 2021 World Collection of Poker. It additionally aimed to seize the gaming market with its Skilled Poker Banking Program, which is open to gamers who’ve participated in not less than one of many World Collection of Poker tournaments.

Skilled gamers’ funds will be unpredictable and might convey elevated regulatory scrutiny, making this a market many banks gained’t contact. However as a group financial institution that’s there to serve the gaming hub of Las Vegas, Lexicon Financial institution welcomes these gamers with open arms.

Its Skilled Poker Participant Program acts as a concierge banking service for qualifying skilled poker gamers who want particular providers like having funds wired forward to their tournaments. It additionally accepts the occasional $1 million or $2 million deposit from profitable gamers.

A pure match

In 2020, six-time World Collection of Poker (WSOP) winner Daniel Negreanus moved his winnings account to Lexicon after one other monetary establishment closed his account—a growth the group financial institution addressed in a press launch.

Fast Stat


The gross gaming income of the playing business within the U.S. in 2021

Supply: Statista

“With banking roots within the mecca of gaming for poker, serving as a banking accomplice for skilled poker gamers was a pure match for Lexicon Financial institution,” stated Russell Rosenblum, chairman of the board and a poker fanatic, within the press launch. “Our financial institution has direct contact with the poker group by way of private relationships, enterprise partnerships and group endeavors.”

These poker deposits, like all others on the financial institution, undergo anti-money laundering screening by software program linked to the financial institution’s core system. However the basic threat administration within the financial institution’s skilled poker program is old style Know Your Buyer, accomplished by folks.

“The taking part gamers signal a contract acknowledging that we’re going to ask them questions they usually must be forthcoming,” explains Hilary Nelson, SVP and director of operations and compliance. “We prefer to know our prospects rather well. What’s good is that the World Collection of Poker publishes a listing of anybody who performs, and we be taught what number of different tournaments they play in across the world.”

That in-depth buyer information isn’t only for regulatory necessities or to manage threat; it additionally permits the group financial institution to offer different providers.

“If knowledgeable participant calls they usually want one thing that we’re not capable of do, we attempt to get them linked with somebody that may,” Nelson says. “We all know who they’re, we all know what their transactions usually appear to be and we are able to join them with anyone who will help.”

With many being poker fanatics themselves, the crew at Lexicon Financial institution is aware of the way to serve their clientele.

A small-business pipeline

Whereas Lexicon Financial institution doesn’t provide client or mortgage lending, it does do small enterprise lending, which fits its market. A number of poker gamers personal companies and have introduced over these accounts to Lexicon. As well as, poker gamers have beneficial different gamers and small enterprise homeowners to the financial institution.

One instance of this was a surgeon who deliberate to arrange a surgical heart however had little enterprise expertise, so he got here to Lexicon for help. “We shortly launched him to our dealer, service provider service processing and payroll processing, and linked him to our insurance coverage dealer,” Watkins says. “As a concierge financial institution, we had been capable of present these value-added providers that don’t have a payment schedule. So we would not be getting $5 or $25 for that, however we’re getting a relationship, a deposit account and doubtlessly a business mortgage down the highway. We’re targeted on the larger image.”

“We do have authorized companies and industries that make Las Vegas thrive. We now have discovered a method to service that and get the regulators comfy. I imply, that’s what a group financial institution does.”
—Stacy Watkins, president and CEO, Lexicon Financial institution

Staying above board

With a big 14-member board of administrators who know, and infrequently personal, native companies, Lexicon has a neighborhood crew that may make lending selections quick, whereas outdoors banks can regularly be caught with rigid underwriting guidelines from headquarters.

“We do have authorized companies and industries that make Las Vegas thrive,” says Watkins. “We now have discovered a method to service that and get the regulators comfy. I imply, that’s what a group financial institution does.”

Officers at banks restricted by inflexible insurance policies typically suggest Lexicon to purchasers they will’t settle for, and Lexicon will take them on if they’re authorized, if the financial institution has a method to monitor them operationally and in the event that they align with the financial institution’s strategic path.

When a director from the World Collection of Poker known as the financial institution chairman on a Sunday afternoon, he looped in Watkins they usually deliberate for her and one other crew member to be on the financial institution at 8 a.m. Monday, earlier than common hours, to open an account in time for the consumer to catch a flight.

“I met with them and the banker on the department, and we had been capable of facilitate that account,” Watkins says. “It’s value a number of million {dollars} due to that concierge expertise.”

“We now have companies who say they wish to financial institution with us as a result of they wish to give their greenback to a financial institution that’s doing one thing for the group.”

Tom Groenfeldt is a author in Wisconsin.



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