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Centier reports improved earnings in first half of 2010

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Centier Bank reported improved earnings in the first half of 2010, with a year-to-date net profit of $5.5 million.

In a statement released on Friday, President and CEO Michael Schrage said that Centier has maintained steady growth during the first half of the year, despite a sluggish economy.

“Centier remains a financially strong, independent, family-owned, hometown bank,” Schrage said. “We saw continued increases in our earnings, capital, deposit, and loan growth. After a setback in 2009, we are witnessing a strong comeback in 2010. We anticipate our positive growth trend to continue throughout the year as the economy begins to show signs of improvement.”

Centier’s total loans increased $18.4 million, reaching $1.642 billion in the first half of 2010. Year-to-date assets grew $29 million (1.4 percent) to $2.036 billion. Total deposits grew $37 million (2.2 percent), and total equity capital was up 14 percent ($20 million) to $162 million as of June 30.

The bank’s increased earnings were attributed to strong net-interest margins, loan growth, and reduced write-downs of loans and securities. The net-interest margin improved from $29.5 million in the first half of 2009, to $34.5 million in the first six months of 2010, an increase of $5 million (17 percent). The loan loss provision expense was $3.5 million for the first half of 2010, a reduction of $1.1 million from the first half of 2009. The regulatory capital improved from $176.4 million on June 30, 2009, to $189.1 million on June 30, 2010, an increase of $12.7 million.

“Centier’s improved financial performance is even more impressive considering the fact that unlike other regional banks, Centier did not accept Government Bailout Money (TARP) to increase the Bank’s capital,” the statement said. “Even without the injection of government capital, Centier remains ‘well-capitalized’ by all regulatory standards.”

In addition to its improved financial performance, this spring Centier was named the No. 1 “Best Place to Work in Indiana” by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. This was the fourth year in a row that Centier was listed among the top 10 employers in the state and the first time that it topped the list. Centier was ranked among 70 other Hoosier companies and placed first in the large company category for companies with 250 or more employees.

“As a locally-owned bank, we can quickly respond to what our clients need. During the past year, we’ve introduced new savings products and have increased our financial literacy outreach to clients, based on their feedback,” Schrage said. “And, unlike some of the big banks, we never stopped lending to our communities.”

This summer, Centier’s consumer loan department portfolio reached a level of a $250 million dollars in consumer loan balances outstanding. “When you have a team of individuals committed to helping families get back on track, they do all they can to get the job done,” Schrage said.

Centier attributes its stability due in part to a company pledge to remain a Schrage family-owned and operated independent community bank. This past April, the bank celebrated its 115th anniversary by hosting a neighborhood celebration in the city of Whiting, where it was founded. Later this summer, Centier will expand retail services into a new market area: Lafayette, IN. In the coming weeks, Centier is looking forward to opening its first full-service retail branch in Lafayette on August 26. The 4,100 square foot retail center, located on the square in downtown Lafayette, will service personal and business accounts, and will feature the convenience of two drive-up lanes and a 24-hour drive-up ATM.

Centier opened a business banking center in Lafayette in 2007. “We had a long-term plan to eventually relocate and expand our banking services in Lafayette,” Schrage said. “I’m glad that we have decided to move forward. The fact that we’re still tracking to our business plan is a sign of many great things to come.”



Posted 8/3/2010




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