Written by Gabriel Dillard
Community banks in the Central Valley reported their 2019 earnings in the past couple of weeks. Most saw increased earnings compared to the year prior, and some saw record earnings.
Valley Republic Bank
Bakersfield-based Valley Republic Bancorp, which expanded into the Fresno market in October 2019, announced an increase in net income for the year, as well as a record earnings year.
Valley Republic Bank’s net income increased 9% to $9.7 million in 2019 compared to the review prior. It’s total assets also increased in that period by 20% to $939.1 million.
In addition to opening and staffing its Fresno loan production office, it also celebrated its 10-year anniversary in 2019. Valley Republic Bank also saw an 18% increase in its deposits and 20% increase in loans.
Geraud Smith, president and CEO stated, “I am very proud of our 2019 financial performance. The Valley team produced record net income for 2019 and year over year double digit asset, loan, and deposit growth, while navigating a challenging interest rate environment. Our record interest income, generated by strong loan growth, enabled the Bank to make significant investments in our infrastructure to position the Bank for the future. Valley Republic Bank remains committed to serving the growing banking needs of our community.”
Visalia-based Suncrest Bank reported net income of $12 million for last year, up 21% from the year prior. That represented record net income for the bank.
Total assets increased to $984.9 million in that period, up 6.1% in organic growth for that period.
“This year we have focused on strengthening our credit portfolio while also continuing to organically grow the balance sheet,” said Ciaran McMullan, president and CEO of Suncrest Bank. “Non-maturity deposits have grown by almost 11% while total loans have increased consistently since the first quarter growing by 5%.”
Central Valley Community Bank
Fresno’s Central Valley Community Bancorp, parent company of Central Valley Community Bank, reported net income of $21.4 million for 2019, up 0.7% from the year prior.
That growth was driven by an increase in net interest income.
Total assets for the bank as of Dec. 31, 2019 hit $1.59 billion, up nearly 4% from the year prior.
Central Valley Community Bank is also celebrating a special anniversary — 40 years in business.
“We are pleased with the positive results of our Company, the achievements of our team, and we are grateful for the 40 years of confidence that our loyal clients have placed in us,” stated James M. Ford, president & CEO of Central Valley Community Bank and Central Valley Community Bancorp. “Measured growth in loans and deposits, with a focus on shareholder return has led to the positive results for 2019. Regardless of the external interest rate environment, our historic brand of relationship banking will continue to be a contributor to the success of our clients and the communities we serve”
Bank of the Sierra
Sierra Bancorp, parent company of Porterville’s Bank of the Sierra, reported net income of $35.96 million for 2019, which was up 21%
That represented a record for the fourth quarter as well as the year in terms of income.
As the region’s largest community bank, it reported total assets of $2.49 billion at the end of the year, up 3% from the year prior.
“As we wrap up the fourth quarter of 2019, we are particularly pleased with our record breaking net income for both the quarter and the year,” stated Kevin McPhaill, president and CEO. “This achievement is especially noteworthy in light of the many headwinds we encountered including subdued loan growth, compressing margins, and strong competition for earning assets.
“Looking forward to the coming year, our entire banking team is committed to the Company’s success by overcoming whatever challenges lie ahead, seizing new opportunities, and striving to make Bank of the Sierra the best we can possibly be,” McPhaill concluded.
United Security Bank
United Security Bancshares, Fresno-based parent of United Security Bank, announced net income of $15.17 million for 2019, up 8% compared to the year prior.
Total assets reached $956.91 million the end of 2019, up from $933.05 million from the year prior.
Dennis Woods, president and Chief Executive Officer, stated: “We have accomplished a lot of good throughout the year, including successfully navigating the changing interest environment to produce positive growth in net earnings, loans, and deposits. As we enter 2020, we will continue to focus on growing our franchise while maintaining our strong capital and liquidity levels.”
Fresno First Bank
Communities First Financial Corporation, the Fresno-based parent company of Fresno First Bank, reported a net income increase of 47% to $9.2 million for 2019.
Total assets grew 15% to $538.39 million from 2018. Assets in 2018 totaled $467.21 million.
“For the fourth quarter and full year, our stellar performance reflects the successful and continued execution of our strategic growth plan which is supported by the expansion of our franchise into Southern California and our national payments business,” said Steve Miller, President and Chief Executive Officer. “We generated record net income and earnings per share, produced topline revenue, delivered industry leading returns on assets and equity, and grew our book value by over 24% from a year earlier. At the same time, our loan portfolio grew 20% year-over-year, while our total deposit base increased 14% with non-interest bearing deposits increasing 17% year-over-year.”