Franco Banares Photo

Franco Banares

Regional Senior Vice President


Franco was born in Chicago and grew up in Mount Prospect, Illinois. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Northern Illinois University with an emphasis in Operations Management and Information Systems. 

Franco is an accomplished finance professional with experience and knowledge from different industry aspects. His career began with the prestigious firm Waddell and Reed, Inc. as a licensed Financial Advisor. During his employment, Franco heightened his expertise by successfully completing his NASD Series 7, 63, and 65 licensing examinations. He enjoyed helping his clients understand and implement strategies such as retirement planning, tax-deferred education savings, and wealth accumulation to achieve their long-term goals.

After spending time in the financial planning arena and working with various other professionals such as CPA’s, bankers, brokers, and attorneys, Franco discovered his true calling was in mortgage banking. He felt that by helping others realize the American dream, every single client of his was in a better position to work towards becoming financially independent. 
Joining Chicago Bancorp in 2006, Franco brought with him years of lending experience, a track record of industry leading service (’s 2005 Gold Leaf Award), knowledge of a wide array of loan programs, and expertise in providing clients with financial solutions that compliment their lifestyle. His previous success led to a promotion at his former bank’s newly created division where he led his division in new loan originations and won Banker of the Month honors several times. 
Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood is where Franco resides today. When he is not working, he enjoys everything Chicago has to offer from the sporting events to the cultural festivals to the countless museums and landmarks.


Close friends have used Franco for their mortgages. I am looking to buy in the future and plan on using him. Currently, I know I can turn to him with any questions I have and get a straight and honest answer.

- Amy K
My wife and I first used Franco to refinance our first home, and since then, we have used him for practically all of our home financing needs. Each time we've used Franco, he's made the process quick and painless for us and has explained what we need to do every step of the way. We've also appreciated the constant updates and information that Franco has been able to provide, without the usual pressure or "hard sell" techniques that are so common in the mortgage lending industry. Most recently, Franco was able to obtain a new HELOC for us on our current home that lowered our interest rate almost 2% at absolutely no cost to us!

We've had nothing but positive experiences and great results since we started working with Franco, and we look forward to continue using him as the market and our personal home financing needs continue to change.

- Dave E
Franco was of great help in my first home buying experience. He helped get me the best available rate and loan while also spending the extra time to save me some money when he could. For example, at his suggestion, he forwarded my credit report to my homeowner's association to save me the 100 dollar fee they were going to charge me to run one for me. He has also been prompt with any questions I have had after our transaction, which was over two and a half years ago. I would definitely recommend him to all my colleagues and friends and I do plan on having many more successful transactions with him in the future.

- Fernando G
Franco helped me get my first mortgage, and even called me when the rates were low to help me refinance. He has great follow-up and will give you the best plan for YOU, not what will make him the most money like others. He was so great, i referred him to my aunt (who bought a condo with his help), my brother( who refinanced his current condo with his help), and my mom (who was able to pay off her current mortgage and get a better one at a lower rate). I plan to use Franco again in the future. I have no problem recommending him to anyone else either!”

- Joshua M
My sister and I used Franco as our mortgage banker when we bought our condo this year and he was extremely helpful and professional. He also went above and beyond by helping us find ways to save and receive tax breaks.

I wanted to write a follow-up recommendation for Franco because of the great help he's been throughout the year. In addition to helping my sister and I with our first mortgage, he's helped us again with our first refinance.

When interest rates were at their lowest, Franco took initiative to contact us. He not only advised us it would be a good time to refinance, but he also took the time to explain why it was a good time as well as answer any and all questions before we made a decision. We felt very comfortable working with him and received very honest and informed (as well as quick) answers to all of our questions.

In the end we went with the refinance and it saves us a bundle every month. We couldn't be happier having Franco as our advisor because we know even if we're not paying attention to what's going on with interest rates and mortgage trends, we know he is and he'll keep us informed. I will definitely keep working with him as well as keep recommending him (as I've done already) because it's important to not only find someone with the know-how and talent, but also someone you can trust is in your corner and is working to help you, the client, first and foremost.

- Lauren O
Franco was very helpful when my boyfriend and I were getting ready to purchasing our condo. We already had a lender, but we trust Franco and wanted his professional opinion regarding the paperwork. He took time out of his schedule to meet and review everything with us, and he advised us to take the deal. I truly value his professionalism and willingness to go above and beyond so you fully understand your mortgage.

- Lisa R
As the Director of Training & Development for a large finance company, I trained over 2,000 individuals. It was rare for someone to stand out solely on the merits of professionalism and intelligence. Franco, indeed, was one of these memorable individuals. My training program was designed specifically to "over challenge" trainees - because of the level of difficulty, it was not uncommon to lose 50% of a class overnight. Franco was the only trainee that I can remember that made it look easy. His dedication, determination and ability to conceptualize the material was unparalleled. It was no coincidence that he immediately became one of the top producers within the company. Not only would I hire Franco for my business, I would immediately clone him to fill my entire staff...

- Sean G