published on May 8, 2020 - 1:57 PM
Written by Gabriel Dillard

Communities First Financial Corp., parent of Fresno First Bank, reported net income of $2.26 million for the first quarter, up from the same period last year.

Fresno First Bank has been participating in the Paycheck Protection Program, and as of April 20, had processed 430 loan applications worth about $160 million.

“We will continue helping our clients, and our communities with this program for as long as there is available funding and liquidity,” stated Fresno First Bank President and CEO Steve Miller.

Looking at its balance sheet, Fresno First Bank identified about 14.4% percent of its loan balances as high risk due to the COVID-19 pandemic, representing about $57.37 million. It counts retail, gas stations with convenience stores, supermarkets and electronics stores as its riskiest industry segments.

As of the date of its earnings report, April 21, it has granted payment deferrals to 24 customers covering 35 loans totaling $10.57 million.

It had been a key period of growth for the bank, which was ranked 6th best-performing community bank out of the top 100 U.S. community banks under $3 billion in assets, according to the S&P Global Market Intelligence’s 2019 ranking.

“Our first quarter 2020 financial results were solid, highlighted by robust growth in operating revenue with consistent growth in fee income, specifically from our electronic payments business,” Miller said. “We continue to attract new customers to our bank; and we are dedicated to tailoring the banking needs of businesses, professionals and individuals in our market area of Central and Southern California. To that end, we have steadily grown our loan portfolio and our noninterest-bearing deposits have increased by 14% year-over-year, which represented 62% of total deposits at quarter end.

The quarter ended with total assets of $548.32 million, up 16% from the year prior.

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