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Business & Economy

Grandview Heights could get Ohio's first woman-owned bank

Courtesy of Lisa Berger
Lisa Berger looks to be the first chairwoman of the board of directors for Fortuna Bank.

The team behind the proposed Fortuna Bank has submitted charter applications with state and federal regulators and hopes to open later this year as Ohio's first woman-owned bank.

Lisa Berger said she wants Fortuna to be a bank for women.

"We recognize financial freedom comes with financial literacy, and our hope is to be able to provide opportunities for education in helping women break down the barriers that are in their way," Berger said.

If state and federal regulators sign off, Berger would be the first chairwoman of the board of directors for Fortuna Bank, which would be the first majority-woman owned bank in Ohio and just the fourteenth in the U.S, according to the Office of Comptroller of the Currency.

Berger said they hope to open the first Fortuna branch in the Grandview Yard development in about six months.

She said Fortuna will be a bank for everyone, but they hope to help women overcome decades of financial discrimination.

"Women could not open a credit card in their own names until the mid-1970s. They couldn't take out a business loan until 1988, which seems absolutely ridiculous to me," Berger said.

If their charter gets approval from regulators, Ilaria Rawlin would serve as the bank's first chief executive officer.