One bank’s business built on GOP cash

Here’s my profile of a Beltway bank with a unique business model:

With just one branch and a small staff, Chain Bridge Bank has the unassuming feel of a local business. But the $230 million Beltway depository founded by ex-Sen. Peter Fitzgerald (R-Ill.) is fast becoming the preferred bank of the Republican Party.

The presidential campaigns for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry have accounts there, as do dozens of prominent political action committees run by Republican heavy hitters such as Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), Speaker John Boehner (Ohio) and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

Prominent conservative groups such as American Crossroads and the American Conservative Union, which hosts the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C., have also banked there.

Though the bank is nonpartisan and has had among its clients the Democratic Blue Dog PAC, many of its founders and leaders move in Republican fundraising circles and draw political clients from them. It’s a business model that has worked: Chain Bridge’s earnings were up 48 percent last year from the year prior, according to Marketwire.

“Certainly all of us have worked hard to get the business of our friends and associates,” said Fitzgerald, who left Congress after a single term in 2005 and founded the bank two years later. He serves as chairman of Chain Bridge.

Read more at Roll Call.

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