Zekarias Tamrat, who was set to become the president of the under-formation Marathon International Bank, walked away from the would-be position after a disagreement with the proposed chairman.

By Paul Davis (American Banker) |

A veteran banker who was expected to help lead Marathon International Bank, a proposed de novo in the nation’s capital, has quit.

Zekarias Tamrat, who was set to become the bank’s president, said in a LinkedIn post Monday the he left after a falling out with Tekalign Gedamu, the proposed chairman. The post, directed at the de novo’s potential investors, claimed that Tekalign and other directors have been making decisions that would ultimately harm the bank if it ever opened.

Organizers have been looking to launch a bank that would largely focus on the Ethiopian-American community around Washington.

“The current board members lack professional discipline and a shortage of making the right decision for the investors they promised to serve,” Zekarias said. The proposed directors are “making reckless decisions, rushing to open a bank and to earn recognition rather than the success of the bank.”

Zekarias said in an interview Thursday that he believes Marathon can be a viable bank serving the needs of Ethiopian-Americans, but only if its board is reconstituted. Tamrat said he would be open to rejoining the de novo if that happens.

Zekarias Tamrat, a former banker with PNC Financial Services Group and Bank of America, said in his letter that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. had sent the group’s application back twice because it was “significantly incomplete,” adding that the agency has “numerously communicated to us that the current board members are not fit to serve.”

Organizers did not include all of Marathon’s policies and procedures in their initial application, Zekarias Tamrat said in the interview. The second time, the agency expressed concern that several directors lived in different states and would be unable to come in and run the bank.

Continue reading this story at American Banker
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