Cecil Bank taps Baltimore-area banking veteran as next CEO

Cecil Bank in Elkton, Md., has a new leader.

Bill Knott, a veteran Baltimore-area banker, disclosed in a letter on the $195 million-asset bank’s website that he had been hired to succeed Terrie Spiro as president and CEO.

Knott, who had recently been associated with an effort to form NXG Bank in Baltimore, was CEO of CFG Community Bank from 2016 to 2018.

Spiro, who joined the bank’s CEO in late 2013, guided it through a difficult period in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis.

Cecil Bancorp, which struggled with nonperforming loans and capital issues prior to Spiro’s arrival, filed for bankruptcy protection in 2017 to sell the bank to a group of investors. The group kept Spiro and infused $30 million into the bank.

The bankruptcy stung a number of investors, including the Treasury Department, 1stMariner Bank and entities that owned the company’s trust-preferred securities. Cecil Bancorp had received $11.6 million from the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

A federal judge last month sentenced former CEO Mary Beyer Halsey to two years in prison after she pleaded guilty to bank fraud charges tied to her 2012 purchase of a home in foreclosure. Her actions cost the bank $145,000, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland.

Knott acknowledged the bank’s past challenges in his letter.

“I realize that there have been some unfortunate events in the bank’s history,” Knott wrote. “The hard work of the board of directors, Terrie Spiro, existing management and past and present employees have placed Cecil Bank in a position to grow and create a bright future with new successes.”


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