Small profit for '08 at Santa Cruz County BankFebruary 10, 2009
By Jondi Gumz - Santa Cruz Sentinel
Despite the recession, locally owned Santa Cruz County Bank eked out a profit for the year on fourth quarter earnings.
Pre-tax net income for the year was $24,000, down 99 percent from $1.7 million from 2007.
Pre-tax net income for the quarter was $376,000, a 137 percent increase from the third quarter when the bank reported a pre-tax loss of $1 million. That was in large part due to bolstering loan loss reserves by $1.4 million.
Fourth-quarter deposits grew 6 percent to $207.2 million and gross loans grew 5 percent to $146.1 million. Assets grew 5 percent to $228.9 million.
Net interest income was $2.4 million, up 9 percent from the third quarter.
The 5-year-old bank qualified for $5 million from the federal Troubled Asset Relief Program, but won't be taking money because of its financial strength, said David Heald, president and chief executive officer.
"We are pleased with the community's continued choice in banking services as represented by our fourth consecutive year of dougle-digit percentage growth in deposits, loans and assets," he said.
Over the year, deposits grew 49 percent, assets 43 percent and loans 23 percent.
Net interest income was $8.7 million, up 9 percent from 2007. Provision for loan losses was $1.7 million, up 227 percent from 2007. Non-interest expense was $8.4 million, up 23 percent from 2007 due to relocation of the Santa Cruz office.
The bank opened a fifth branch Monday at 7775 Soquel Drive, Aptos, formerly the home of Coast Commercial Bank.
"In the year ahead, we will continue to be proactive in seeking opportunities while being mindful of the impacts of current economic conditions on our customers, shareholders and community," Heald said.
Santa Cruz County Bank's annual shareholder meeting will be 3 p.m. May 20 at the Inn at Pasatiempo.