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Santa Cruz County Banks posts profitable quarter

October 23, 2013

By Jondi Gumz - Santa Cruz Sentinel

Santa Cruz County Bank posted a profit of $830,000 for the quarter ending Sept. 30, up 1 percent from the prior quarter and up 6 percent from a year ago.

Gross loans at the locally owned bank totaled $240 million, growing $2.1 million from the prior quarter for a 1 percent increase.

The increase in net income was primarily due to loans, which grew 16 percent from a year ago, according to David Heald, bank president and chief executive officer,

During the quarter, the bank hired Jon Sisk, formerly of Lighthouse Bank, to head up real estate and construction lending, added $23.2 million in new loan commitments and experienced $5.2 million in payoffs.

There was an uptick in loans guaranteed by the U.S. Small Business Administration and U.S. Department of Agriculture, new construction, and purchase and refinance activity in the hospitality sector, Heald said.

The loan loss allowance totaled $5.4 million, up 1 percent from the prior quarter and up 13 percent from a year ago.

Heald noted the 9-year-old bank "achieved a milestone of over $400 million in total assets," up 6 percent during the quarter and up 15 percent from a year ago.

"The community's loyalty and support of Santa Cruz County Bank resulted in double-digit percentage increases over the prior year in net income, deposits, loans and assets for each quarter this year," he said.

Deposits totaled $366 million, up 6 percent during the quarter and up 15 percent from a year ago.

Noninterest bearing deposits grew 14 percent to $175 million during the quarter, which Heald said "reflects our overall growth in business banking relationships, particularly in agriculture and hospitality, which experience seasonality and trend highest in deposit balances in the summer months."

Shareholders' equity totaled $31.6 million, up 3 percent during the quarter and up 9 percent from a year ago.

Net interest margin was 3.94 percent, down from 4.11 percent a year ago.

Earnings were 42 cents per share up from 40 cents per share a year ago. Santa Cruz County Bank paid a 5-cent cash dividend to shareholders as of Oct. 10.

The bank ranked fifth in deposits in Santa Cruz County as of June 30 and was rated four stars, next to the top ranking, by Bauer Financial for the first quarter.


 

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