Record-high earnings this year for Oakdale’s Oak Valley Community Bank

10/25/2013 5:32 PM

10/25/2013 11:35 PM

Oak Valley Community Bank is reporting record-high income for its latest quarter.

“We as a bank are hitting on all cylinders, and I think that’s an indication of what’s going on in the Valley’s economy,” Chris Courtney, the bank’s president and chief executive officer, told The Bee on Thursday. “We had a very strong quarter.”

For July, August and September, the bank’s consolidated net income topped $1.5million, which Courtney confirmed was the most ever. During the same months a year ago, net income was under $1.4million.

Year-to-date earnings also increased, rising 4.7percent from last year to more than $4.1million.

“Our loan demand is picking back up,” said Courtney, explaining the increased income. “That is the most important thing that’s happening with us.”

During the recession, Courtney said, there were fewer financially qualified businesses seeking loans, so the bank issued fewer loans.

“We’ve always prided ourselves on being consistent during good times and bad,” Courtney said regarding the standards the bank uses to decide which loans to grant.

He said Stanislaus’ economy has been getting stronger. “We’ve been cautiously anticipating a return of borrowing confidence from the local business community, and we think we have seen a glimpse of that in recent months,” Courtney said. “We remain hopeful that the trend continues through the year and beyond.”

Oak Valley is headquartered in Oakdale and is the only bank based in Stanislaus County.

Courtney said many of the loans his bank makes are to businesses that support agriculture, which he called “the backbone of our community.”

The bank was honored this month for the loans it has made to small businesses. The Success Capital Expansion and Development Corp., which helps companies get government-backed loans through the Small Business Administration, named Oak Valley as this year’s “Most Active Lending Partner.”

Success Capital also honored Mark Steichen, an Oak Valley vice president, as one of its most active SBA 504 loan officers for 2013. Such loans are designed for small businesses.

As of Sept. 30, Oak Valley reported having total assets of $659.2million, which was 5percent more than a year ago. Its total deposits were $591.6million, up 6.9percent. Its gross loans increased to $413.9million, up 6.5percent.

“We’ve remained deliberately focused on building solid relationships, knowing our financial performance is driven by the strength of our customers and the depth of our relationships with them,” Courtney said.

Oak Valley operates 14 bank branches in Modesto, Oakdale, Sonora, Turlock, Stockton, Patterson, Ripon, Escalon and Manteca, plus three branches under its Eastern Sierra Division in Bridgeport, Mammoth Lakes and Bishop.

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