Groups hoping to open new banks hit their stride in 2018.

Through Dec. 13, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. had approved 14 bank applications, with seven more pending. In comparison, the agency signed off on 10 total charters during the prior two years.

Jelena McWilliams, the new FDIC chairman, has signaled that the agency will be more supportive of de novo banks. The FDIC, for instance, recently announced that it is seeking public comment to improve the application process.