The first climate-focused bank in the nation will open in St. Pete in 2021

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St. Petersburg’s own climate-focused bank, Climate First Bank, will officially open its doors June 1. The bank was founded by banking entrepreneur and outspoken environmentalist Ken LaRoe. Climate First Bank will do its part to reduce carbon addiction by making sustainable alternatives financially accessible for to the residents and businesses of the greater Tampa Bay area.

Climate First Bank is a full-service community bank on a mission to positively impact the triple bottom line: people, planet and prosperity.

Carbon neutral from day one of operation, this bank (I/O) is a full-service community bank offering personal and commercial banking services with a focus on environmental regeneration. The bank is helmed by a dedicated team of senior executives and local professionals who share a collective mission to do the right thing for the people, planet, community and shareholders.

Keeping St. Pete Green

Founder and CEO, Ken LaRoe, is building Climate First Bank (I/O) using similar frameworks to his previous bank organizations, Florida Choice Bank and First GREEN Bank, which, before being acquired, established global impact and proved the success of a values-based business model while yielding exceptional financial performance.

“My experience has shown there is a strong need and significant customer demand for an impact-based financial institution, which inspired me to launch Climate First Bank (I/O),” said LaRoe, an outspoken advocate for the environment and values-based businesses. “The St. Pete community is already moving toward green initiatives, and I want to propel that movement with the opening of Climate First Bank (I/O) as a new and conscious way of banking. I truly believe that businesses do well by doing good for their employees, environment and community.”

Focusing on businesses with sustainability in mind

Climate First Bank will make its decision through a St. Pete community lens. It will take a look at the current and future needs of the Sunshine City, and work to progress green initiatives in the region.  The bank’s leading strategy is to provide services from an Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) perspective, offering unmatched customer service that has real impact. Climate First Bank (I/O) will seek to elevate the typical banking model by focusing on community values and ultimately spreading its mission through expansion.

In addition to offering standard banking services, the company will place a special emphasis on non-governmental organizations (NGO) and businesses committed to sustainability. Eco-conscious customers will find dedicated loan options for solar photovoltaic (PV), energy retrofits and infrastructure to help combat the climate crisis. The bank will set an example by being built to the highest practical sustainability standards in LEED, Green Globes and Energy Star.

A values-based bank

“Many people feel they have no choice but to turn to the country’s largest banks who do not practice values or impact-based financing, and I want to change that with Climate First Bank (I/O),” LaRoe continues.

LaRoe’s previous banks outperformed financially, while moving the needle in areas that matter most, and Climate First Bank (I/O) plans to continue this success. Stay tuned for more information, and to learn more visit the website.

Climate First Bank will be located at 5301 Central Avenue.

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Written by Andrew Harlan

Andrew Harlan

Andrew Harlan is the Editor of Follow him on Twitter @harlanyoungII and Instagram @harlanyoung. Send tips and potential stories to