With Leigh Anne Jones, Chief Financial Officer
For the twelve months ending December 31, 2019, net interest income before the provision increased 17.1% to $25.07 million, compared to $21.4 million for the twelve months ending December 31, 2018.
For the year 2019, the net interest margin improved 26 bps to 4.09%, compared to 3.83% in the preceding year. The lower federal funds rate impacted the margin between the third and fourth quarters in 2019.
For the twelve months ended December 31, 2019, non-interest income decreased 14.2% to $10.9 million, compared to $12.7 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2018. The difference in non-interest income is mainly attributed to a $4.0 million CMF award received in 2018. Excluding CMF, non-interest income would have increased 29.5%. 2019 non-interest income excluding SSBCI and BEA was $9.5 million. When compared to 2018 non-interest income without CMF, non-interest income in 2019 grew 7.8%. Service charges on deposits increased 7.25% to $2.3 million, compared to $2.2 million in 2018. Mortgage related fees increased 18.3% to $985,962, compared to $833,318 in the prior year. In 2019, card program related revenues increased 15.8% to $2.5 million, compared to $2.2 million in 2018. In 2019, UB Community Development generated $1.1 million in non-interest income, compared to $1.4 million in 2018, a decrease of 20.3%. The lower income is a function of the amount of New Markets Tax Credit allocation deployed during the year.
Non-interest income was also impacted by 2 BEA awards of $479,803 and $1.025 million from the closeout of the SSBCI program.
Non-interest expense for the twelve months ended December 31, 2019 was $21.9 million, an increase of 8.6% from the $20.1 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2018. The year-over-year increase was driven primarily by expenses associated with branch expansion and other strategic initiatives.
Total loans, net of unearned income at December 31, 2019, were $455.1 million, compared to $409.8 million or an increase of 11.0%. Year-over-year loan growth was fueled by loans made to municipalities, commercial and industrial and commercial real estate related lending, which were all 2019 initiatives to deploy funds awarded by USDA for its Community Facilities Relending Program, and to leverage the CDFI Fund’s CMF award and NMTC allocation.
Total deposits increased 8.0% to $619.1 million as of December 31, 2019, compared to $573.1 million at December 31, 2018. While the deposit growth reflects some cyclicality, the Corporation continues to successfully grow core deposits.
OUR STOCK: THE MOVE TO QX & WHAT’S AHEAD
From Bob Jones, President & CEO
In late 2019, we transitioned our stock from OTCPNK to OTCQX and ended the year at $28.25, which was a great way to close the year.
I have every confidence the move to QX was a good one for our company, as we continue to see more interest in the stock, validating the transition gives us greater opportunity to tell our story.
However, since the appearance of the Coronavirus on the world stage, all stocks have taken a hit. Of course, we anticipate – as do most companies of all sizes – stocks will rebound as the situation improves. We do want our stockholders – current and potential – as well as our employees and other stakeholders to know we are responding internally. Our new tech – our online and mobile banking as well as our network of Smart ATMs – puts us in a position to serve our customers. We can continue to operate if there is a disruption. And of course, we are currently reviewing our internal checklist and plans.