SELBYVILLE – A bank well known for serving the tourism industry just south of the Delaware border will open a new branch in Selbyville, aiming to target customers who live in eastern Sussex County.
The Ocean City Bank, headquartered in Ocean City, Md., recently presented plans to Selbyville city officials to build a 1,700-square-foot branch in the Mason Dixon Mall near U.S. Route 113. The opening is scheduled for May 2023.
“We’re not interested in growing to grow, we’re looking to meet the needs of the community,” Bank of Ocean City President and CEO Reid Tingle told the Delaware Business Times. “If you look at a map, the next closest banks are WSFS and M&T Bank in Millsboro. The Bank of Ocean City primarily aims to serve those who not only live in Ocean City, but also those who work in Ocean City and may return home to Selbyville or Fenwick Island.
Founded in 1917, Bank of Ocean City today has seven offices in Worcester County, Maryland, mostly concentrated within a 17-mile radius of the barrier island. With a mission to be the premier bank for those working in Ocean City’s multi-million dollar tourism industry, the bank had $575 million in deposits and $625 million in assets last year.
Bank of Ocean City’s assets grew 26% between 2020 and 2021, according to its financial statements. Filings also grew steadily by 36% between 2019 and 2020. The year-over-year increase in 2021 for filings was 28%.
This will be Bank of Ocean City’s second Delaware branch, as it moved a North Ocean City branch in 2016 to Fenwick Island.
“The idea behind it was to serve a more traditional, tourism-oriented market,” Tingle said. “Our market is along the 1/113 Highway Corridor, mostly on the east side of it. We have no interest in being the biggest bank in the market. We want to serve our community well, and Selbyville is a natural choice.
As the largest county in Delaware by land mass, Sussex County can be broken down along Highway 113. On the east side of the highway are Lewes, Bethany Beach, and Rehoboth Beach, and the west side is more rural with more farms and wide open spaces. By 2050, Sussex County’s population is expected to reach 307,544, according to the Delaware Population Consortium.
And as the population continues to grow, more homeowners will begin to look west for affordable options in exchange for a slightly longer drive to the beach. Selbyville, Frankford and Dagsboro — the three towns along Route 113 between Millsboro and the Maryland border — are expected to grow 26% to 5,895 residents over the next 30 years. It could be even more with unincorporated areas like Roxana along Highway 54.
Looking west between Selbyville and Fenwick Island, there is a Tidemark Federal Credit Union, PNC Bank, and Federal Savings Bank concentrated on Route 54.