OAKDALE — Oak Valley Community Bank and its affiliate Eastern Sierra Community Bank earned record profits in 2012, increasing net income for shareholders by 13.4 percent.
"The bank is doing great, and we'll be doing really great when this region's economy turns around," bank President Chris Courtney said. "We're hitting on all cylinders, except that loan demand just isn't strong yet."
Oak Valley is the only bank with headquarters in Stanislaus County.
Courtney said the publicly traded company increased its assets and deposits during the year. Assets increased to $660.5 million, up 7.9 percent. Deposits jumped to $587 million, up 9.5 percent.
That growth persuaded Oak Valley to hire two more employees in 2012, bringing its full-time total to 130.
What hasn't grown is the number of loans. Courtney said, "We're putting new loans on the books," but just about the same number of old loans are getting paid off, so the result has been flat.
"We are cautiously optimistic about loan growth opportunities in the coming year as we begin to see signs of increased interest in commercial borrowing," Courtney said.
Oak Valley operates 11 branches: three in Modesto and one each in Oakdale, Sonora, Turlock, Stockton, Patterson, Ripon, Escalon and Manteca. The bank's Eastern Sierra Division has branches in Bridgeport, Mammoth Lakes and Bishop.
Bee staff writer J.N. Sbranti can be reached at email@example.com or (209) 578-2196.