The Bank enjoys the benefits of being the only community bank in the Columbia River Gorge region, opening its two offices in 07 and 08 respectively, and subsequently blossoming into one of the strongest business lenders in the area, with highly responsive lending staff always ready to meet the needs of local businesses, Ag producers and owner-occupied commercial real estate transactions.
Some leading data points from the 2Q report show strong growth with solid fundamentals:
• Total Assets up 14.1% (from Dec. 31, 09) to $69.1M – up 69% over the 12-month ending June 30, 2010
• Gross Loans up 35.1% (from Dec. 31, 09) to $54.8M – up 88% over the 12-month
• Total Deposits up 14.6% (from Dec. 31, 09) to $62.8M – up 82% over the 12-month
Executive VP and CFO of CENP, Jim Fortner, noted the Bank’s steady growth since inception, and how it hit the break-even level of loan and deposit volume in 1Q FY10, citing further the improving net interest margin which for year-to-date was an annualized 4.96%, and for 2Q was 5.18%, reflecting increasing profitability.
This is a very solid indicator of overall profitability, especially when one looks at other banks. CENP is well-capitalized under regulatory standards, with no delinquencies or problem credits in the loan portfolio, and has a loan-loss-allowance of 1.16% ($637k) which is sufficient to absorb inherent risks.
Founding Director and Chairman of the Board of CENP, Steve Benton, characterized this new high-water mark in CENP’s success story as a “key milestone”, attributing the capacity to go from start-up to profitability and a stable asset foundation in three years to the supportive and diverse customer base in the Columbia River Gorge region.
Despite having two locations, CENP thinks of itself as a Gorge-area regional bank, according to Benton, and though it is small in size, the integrity and community participation of the management and staff (who are native to the region themselves) has forged a bond between the bank and the people.
President and CEO, Mahlon Vigesaa, who is also a founding Director, was delighted to report that CENP has achieved sustainable break-even operations in less than three years, citing the economic environment as a major hurdle and the support and confidence of the local Gorge community as instrumental to continued success.
Vigesaa noted the strategy of rolling over deposits into localized infrastructure as being vital to the Bank’s prominence as the lender-of-choice for regional business and agriculture.