Four of seven area banks report 2009 profits at year end

Published 8:04 pm Thursday, April 1, 2010

Polk County’s three smallest banks were the ones reporting losses for 2009. The four larger banks, starting with the HomeTrust Banking Partnership, parent company of Tryon Federal Bank, a $1.6 billion bank, and First Citizens Bank, an $18.5 billion bank, reported profits for 2009.
Brief summaries of those reports, given in order from the smallest bank to the largest, follow:
Mountain 1st
1st Financial Services Corp., the parent company of Mountain 1st, reported losses of $9.9 million for the fourth quarter of 2009 and a net loss of $19.6 million for the year ended Dec. 31st. This is compared to a $207,000 profit shown at Dec. 31, 2008.
The decrease in revenues was driven primarily by a $29.9 million provision for loan losses, an increase of $23.4 million over the previous year.
Excluding the provision for loan losses and an increased FDIC assessment of $1.3 million, the company showed a slight increase in income for 2009 over 2008. The companys assets increased $85.9 million to $793 million as of Dec. 31st, 2009. Loans decreased by $25.3 million to $558.7 million and deposits increased by $82.3 million to $673.3 million.
“2009 was a difficult year as we experienced continued deterioration in our portfolio,” said the company CEO Michael G. Mayer. “In the third and fourth quarter, we took aggressive action to identify troubled loans and establish increased reserves against this portfolio… After the increases in Loan Loss Reserves, the bank remains adequately capitalized.”
Mountain 1st for 2010 has added a Private Banking Unit to serve the needs of high net worth clients.
In early March, Mountain 1st entered in a Stipulation to the Issuance of a Consent Order agreeing to the issuance of a Consent Order with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the N.C. Commissioner of Banks. In that order, the bank has agreed to a list of actions including to increase its loan loss reserves and its liquidity.
“Were probably the most liquid bank in the country right now,” bank president Vince Rees told the Hendersonville
Rees said at the time that the bank was 70 percent complete in meeting the conditions of the consent order. Depositors funds continued to be insured by the FDIC.
Mayer was hired by the bank in January, coming in with 30 years of banking industry experience and most recently serving as president and CEO of a local community bank in the Charlotte market. He is a graduate of Clemson University where he majored in Finance.
* * *Times-News March 9th. “We have $250 million in liquidity. They asked us to increase that to 15 percent, but we increased it to 34 percent.”
Macon Bank
Macon Bank reported a 4th quarter loss of $7.4 million, and net loss for the year of $6.7 million. (see full story on Macon Bank today, pg.
* * *5)
Carolina 1st
The South Financial Group, parent company of Carolina First, a company which has been having a tough time in the economic downturn, got some good news in February.
TSFG was a national and regional winner of 2009 Excellence in Small Business Banking awards from Greenwich Associations in the “overall satistfaction” category. The award, given after evaluations of 750 banks across the country, measures the banks handling of customer relationships.
The financial report for TSFG was not as positive. The company reported a net loss in the 4th quarter of $193.9 million, compared to a net loss of $340.8 million for the 3rd quarter.
The net loss for the year ended Dec. 31, 2009 was $736.9 millon. The bank had approximately $11.9 billion in assets and 177 branch offices in North and South Carolina, where TSFG operates Carolina !st Bank, and in Florida, where TSFG operates the Mercantile Bank.
“Credit costs have begun to show signs of moderating, although they will continue to be challenging,” said H. Lynn Harton, president and CEO. “We remain focused on aggressively addressing credit issues and executing sales and liquidations of problem loans and foreclosed properties.”
Harton said the bank is suspending all dividend payments, preserving about $4.5 million in capital on a quarterly basis going forward.
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Tryon Federal Bank
HomeTrust Bank, parent company of Tryon Federal Bank, reported 4th quarter net income of $1.8 million, bringing total income for the year to $2.118 million. HomeTrust restated its June 30, 2009 quarter to include an adjustment for the one-time FDIC insurance premiums, provision for loan losses and taxes, changing its results from positive to negative earnings for that quarter.
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First Citizens Bank
First Citizens Bancshares Inc., parent company of First Citizens Bank, reported earnings for 2009 of $115.6 million, compared to $91.1 million earned during 2008.
Those results include gains of $63 million related to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation assisted aquisitions of the assets and liabilities of Temucula Valley Bank in Temecula, California and Venture Bank in Lacey, Washington. The gains results in the excess of the fair value of the recorded assets over the fair value of the liabilities assumed.
First Citizens Bancshares provision for loan and lease losses increased $11.1 million during 2009 and net charge-offs for the year totaled $64.7 million, compared to $45.3 million in 2008. Losses came primarily in the commercial, unsecured revolving credit and revolving residential mortgage loan portfolios.
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Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo reported a $2.55 billion fourth quarter loss for the fourth quarter of 2009. For the full year, Wells Fargo reported a net income of $12.3 billion.
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Bank of America
Bank of America reported full year net income of $6.3 billion for 2009, compared with net income of $2.6 billion for 2008.

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