With an eye on boosting its stature within the wine industry, Novato-based Bank of Marin reported a record $5 million in earnings — its best quarter ever — in the second quarter of 2012, according to a company release.
President and CEO Russell A. Colombo said the company is slated to expand lending in the wine industry after adding an experienced commercial loan officer in Sonoma County plus the appointment of a new board member from Napa, Michaela Rodeno, former CEO of St. Supery Winery.
The bank said it continues to perform well across all of its markets and made additional hires in its lending team to capitalize on new opportunities, particularly in the wine business. Loans in Napa increased $4.7 million for the bank, or 8.1 percent, in the second quarter, excluding $1.9 million in problem loan payoffs.
Colombo added that the overall earnings were driven by an "excellent credit quality, strong relationships with customers and commitment to the community."
Back in April, Bank of Marin Bancorp — parent company of Bank of Marin — said the second-quarter earnings were up 0.2 percent, from $4.9 million in the first quarter of 2012, and up 44.0 percent from $3.4 million in the second quarter of 2011. The first-quarter earnings reflected a 46 percent increase from the fourth quarter of 2011.
Bancorp grew its investment portfolio by $36.6 million (primarily government-guaranteed mortgage-backed and collateralized mortgage obligation securities, as well as corporate bonds) in the second quarter of 2012. The bank said that was "a conscious effort to deploy excess liquidity."
The bank said its credit quality remains solid with net charge-offs in the second quarter of 2012 totaling $187,000, down $930,000 from the prior quarter and down $2 million from the same quarter a year ago.
CFO Chris Cook said strong financial performance and "the confidence our management has in the bank drove our decision to increase our cash dividend to shareholders this quarter. We also proactively deployed some of our excess liquidity through the purchase of investment securities."