Bill Farinholt retires after 42 years in banking

by Bill Nachman - Posted on Jun 22, 2011 - 04:24 PM

Photo: Bill Farinholt

Bill Farinholt

William James "Bill" Farinholt, who helped start two successful Gloucester-based financial institutions, will retire from the banking industry on June 30.

Farinholt, 65, will step down as president and chief executive officer of Colonial Virginia Bank. He will be replaced as CEO by veteran banker Bob Bailey.

Reflecting on a banking career that has spanned 42 years, Farinholt said Thursday, "I have met a lot of people and have dealt with four generations." Comparing the startup of Colonial Virginia Bank to his earlier venture, Peninsula Trust Bank, he said this time around, "It’s been harder," because of the tough economic conditions in recent years. But CVB has done well because of its local connections and quality customer service, he said, as well as handling loans on a local level. "I don’t have any regrets."

Farinholt, along with his long-time sidekick, Kenny Smith, who is executive vice president and chief financial officer at CVB, helped start Colonial Virginia Bank in 2003. "A number of local people urged us to open another bank," Farinholt said, after the earlier success of Peninsula Trust Bank, which he had headed with Smith from 1988 until it was sold to F&M, and shortly thereafter, to BB&T, in 2000.

PTB introduced some rather novel ways to bank for this region, Farinholt said, such as extended hours of operation. When CVB was started, the novelty was gone since, by that time, many other banks in the area had adopted a similar format.