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1st Mariner President and CEO Rob Kunisch says the bank will be in the black by the end of the first quarter of 2015. (The Daily Record/Maximilian Franz)

1st Mariner says it’s on the road to profitability

With its former parent company winning court confirmation this week for its Chapter 11 liquidation plan, 1st Mariner Bank executives are painting a much rosier picture for their future.

In the six months since 1st Mariner was sold, the bank has kept its 16 branches open and exceeded its own expectations for new accounts, said President and CEO Rob Kunisch, opening about 200 new consumer deposit accounts per month.

“We feel very good about how things are progressing. We’ve made a lot of progress in terms of bringing in new consumer accounts, corporate accounts, and our mortgage company continues to perform at a high level,” he said.

Kunisch is also sticking to comments made to American Banker last month reflecting his optimism regarding the bank’s financial status. Last year, 1st Mariner posted a total loss of $19.1 million; now, Kunisch says, the bank is on track to return to profitability by the end of the first quarter of 2015.

Capital Trust Holdings Inc. – formerly First Mariner Bancorp. – initially filed for bankruptcy in February, ultimately selling off Baltimore’s largest community bank for about $18.7 million to RKJS Bank in June.

The disclosure statement from Monday’s court confirmation order says general unsecured creditors of the holding company – owed between $62 million and $63 million – will be paid after creditors higher up on the ladder receive what’s owed them.

Though they’ll receive less than a quarter of their claims, the unsecured creditors’ committee supported the liquidation plan. Stockholders, on the other hand, were left out.

Bloomberg contributed to this story.